Ahly's Koller claims responsibility for Zamalek defeat

Ahmed Seif , Monday 15 Apr 2024

Ahly manager Marcel Koller shouldered the blame for his side's surprise defeat by arch-rivals Zamalek in the Egyptian Premier League summit on Monday.

Marcel Koller. File photo


Zamalek secured a 2-1 victory over their Cairo counterparts for the first time in six matches, ending a dominant run for Ahly.

Koller conceded his team lost control after a strong opening.

"The team started well but allowed Zamalek into the game after 25 minutes, they controlled the game somewhat and scored the opening goal," he said in a post-match press conference.

The Swiss boss defended his substitution strategy, which has been a point of contention for some fans.

"We made substitutions in the second half when the situation demanded it, there's no point in waiting if the team needs changes," he explained. 

"There's no single person to blame, we all bear the responsibility as a team," he stressed.

Injuries have hampered Ahly's campaign, with Koller forced to rely on a limited squad. 

"We have to deal with the players we have and can't dwell on absentees, We have young players training with us, but at Ahly, we need those ready for pressure, especially with seven players injured," he said.

"There's always criticism, no matter when substitutions are made, the responsibility for the loss lies with everyone," he said.

"We controlled the first 25 minutes, then conceded due to silly mistakes, we improved in the second half, but Zamalek scored the winner from a disorganized play," he explained.

The win lifts Zamalek to 10th in the league table with 21 points from 13 matches, while Ahly remain ninth on the same points total after 11 games.

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