Ahly coach Koller expects difficult game against 'Latin-style' Seattle Sounders

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 3 Feb 2023

Ahly coach Marcel Koller said on Friday that the game against Seattle Sounders of USA in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday will be a difficult one against the 'Latin-style' but his players are ready for the challenge.

Ahly s Swiss coach Marcel Koller (R) looks on during 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. AFP


“Seattle Sounders are playing in the Latin school style. They have talented players in their squad so the game is expected to be difficult,” Koller told the pre-game press conference on Friday, referring to the quick, fast-paced style of football associated with Brazil and Argentina.

“Every new game is the most important game,” the Swiss coach said as he likes to remind his players before every game.

Ahly started their FIFA Club World Cup campaign by beating New Zealand side Auckland City 3-0 easily in the preliminary round on Wednesday to set-up the Seattle Sounders clash.

"In Auckland City, we faced a tough opponent. But, Ahly have talented players who make the difference in such big games,” Koller said.

“All the participants in the Club World Cup know well the quality of Ahly players," he stressed.

Meanwhile, Ahly skipper Mohamed El-Shennawi, 34, told a press conference. that said that his teammates are focusing well ahead of the Seattle Sounders game.

“Every team that qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup is a tough opponent,” added the Egypt international, who kept his nets clean against Auckland on Wednesday.

Ahly players enjoyed superb support from the tournament host’s Moroccan fans during the game against Auckland City and are expected to enjoy the same on Saturday.

“I thank Moroccan fans for their support during the game against Auckland City and I am confident this support will continue on Saturday against Seattle Sounders,” El-Shennawi said.

By beating Seattle Sounders on Saturday, Ahly could set up a historic meeting against Spanish giants Real Madrid, UEFA Champions league winners, in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

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