Ahly's spot in Champions League final 'well-deserved': Coach Koller

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 20 May 2023

Ahly secured a well-deserved qualification for the African Champions League final according to coach Marcel Koller, who also expressed satisfaction with the team's recent performance.

Ahly s Swiss coach Marcel Koller (L) watches from the sidelines during the CAF Champions League semi-final football match between Egypt s Al-Ahly and Tunisia s Esperance Sportive de Tunis at the Cairo International Stadium on May 19, 2023. AFP


Ahly secured their place in the prestigious tournament final for the fourth consecutive time after a 1-0 victory over Tunisia's Esperance on Friday at Cairo International Stadium, sealing a commanding 4-0 aggregate triumph.

“Our qualification for the final is a well-deserved one and it did not come by luck. I do not look to the opponent’s weak points, but only to the development of my team. We know how to win in any place amid any circumstances,” the coach said in the press conference after the game.

“We wasted a lot of chances in the second half against Esperance, but finally we won comfortably and reached the final.

“Regardless of the name of our opponent in the final, we will prepare for the game with analysis and trainings,” the Swiss coach added.

With a place in their 16th final, Ahly remains on track to pursue a record-extending 11th Champions League title.

Koller also stressed that he is satisfied with the obvious development in his team’s performance.

“I am happy with the team’s current performance as we play good football and the players proved their dominance,” the Ahly coach explained.

“Our start in the group stage was not such a good one, but you can see how the team developed and became more confident and calm in the following matches,” he added.

No revenge in final

The Egyptians now await the outcome of Saturday's match between Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and Wydad of Morocco in the second leg of the semifinals. The first leg ended in a goalless draw in Casablanca.

“The final’s first leg will be played in Cairo and so it will take our full concentration now,” Koller said.

Ahly lost 5-2 to Mamelodi Sundowns in the group stage, but Koller said he is not thinking of revenge from the South African team.

“I do not have these feelings, but if we will meet Sundowns we will play to win and avoid what happened in the group stage,” the coach concluded.

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