Ahly s players celebrate winning the FIFA Club World Cup first round football match between Egypt s Al-Ahly and New Zealand s Auckland City at the Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier on February 1, 2023. (Photo by Fadel Senna / AFP)
"We did not play as we wanted in the first half, we couldn't find a way to the opponent's goal, but after the first goal we improved," Koller said.
Ahly dominated possession but couldn't carve out spaces in the New Zealand's side compact defence until winger Hussein El Shahat broke the deadlock in the 45th minute.
It turned out to be a turning point as Ahly turned on the style in the second half to score two more goals from Mohamed Sherif and Percy Tau and extend their total domination on the game.
"From the start in the second half, we did better pressing and really we deserved the win. I told the players not press high up the pitch as Auckland City will have to advance as they want to equalise. We can take advantage of that and play on fast counter attacks and that's what happened as we punished them with two goals to guarantee the victory" Koller added.
Ahly will face Seattle Sounders of US in the quarter finals on Saturday 4 February and the winner will advance to face Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
"I will watch Seattle Sounders games to prepare the team in the upcoming days," the Swiss concluded.
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