Ahly don’t fear next Champions League opponent: coach Koller

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Sunday 2 Apr 2023

​Ahly coach Marcel Koller has expressed his pleasure with fans’ presence in Saturday’s victory over Sudan’s Al-Hilal, insisting that the Reds won’t be afraid of their next opponent in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Ahly's coach Koller


The Cairo giants secured a precious 3-0 victory against Al-Hilal in the final round of the group stage and also a place in the prestigious tournament quarterfinals. 

“This is the first time for me to guide the team amid the presence of this huge number of fans.  The chants and support of the great Ahly fans played a key role in delivering an outstanding performance and also securing the victory,” the coach said in the press conference after the game. 

“We were determined to win and we should get the best use of this morale boost to play with the same level in the coming games. We should be fully concentrated and prepare well for the next league game against Ghazl El Mahalla,” he added. 

For the first time in over a decade, Cairo International Stadium was nearly-packed in a continental engagement for an Egyptian side.  Limited numbers attended the games in the past years due to security reasons prior to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Koller heaped praise on second half substitute Hussein El-Shahat who scored twice adding to a brilliant first-half goal from teammate Mahmoud "Kahraba" Abdel-Moneim to help in the home win. 

“We kept our domination in the second half and El-Shahat proved his worth.  I am very happy with the victory which I dedicate to our fans. I hope they will attend with the same numbers in the coming period,” the Swiss coach explained. 

Despite tying Al-Hilal in the group at 10 points with tonight’s victory, Al-Ahly advanced to the quarterfinals thanks to a better head-to-head record since they only lost 1-0 in the away game. 

Ahly finished second in Group B, behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, who collected 14 points from their six games. 

The CAF Champions League quarterfinals draw will be held on 5 April and the Ahly coach isn’t thinking over the name of next opponent. 

“We are waiting for a draw and I hope we will face our next opponent also with our supports.  Ahly don’t fear any name as long as we are in our normal shape,” the coach concluded.

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