Ahly, Esperance evenly matched for CAF Champions League glory: Koller

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 24 May 2024

Ahly coach Marcel Koller said his team and Tunisian side Esperance de Tunis have an equal shot at the CAF Champions League title, ahead of Saturday's second-leg final in Cairo.

Ahly coach Marcel Koller (Photo: Ahly s official X account)


The Egyptian giants, seeking a record-extending 12th continental crown, host Esperance at Cairo Stadium with the tie finely balanced after a goalless draw in the first leg.

"Those who watched the first leg know that the two teams are equally matched," Koller told a pre-match press conference on Friday.

"It won't be an easy task," he added, emphasizing his focus on ensuring his players are well-prepared for any eventuality.

Koller acknowledged the significance of Ahly's passionate home support, aiming to create an intimidating atmosphere for the visitors.

"We need our fans to make Esperance feel like they're playing away from home," the Swiss coach said.

Ahly will be without veteran defender Ali Maaloul, who underwent surgery earlier this week for an Achilles tendon injury.

"We have a replacement for Maaloul and we're confident they will perform well," Koller assured.

"I've prepared myself and the team for all possible scenarios, and we're ready to handle whatever comes our way," he concluded.

Ahly, the reigning champions, are determined to maintain their African dominance with a 12th title.

Esperance, meanwhile, are chasing their fifth Champions League trophy, and their first since 2019.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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