Egypt's Ahly coach Hossam Al Badry (Photo: Reuters)
Ahly manager Hossam El-Badry has dedicated the club's African Super Cup trophy to the "Ahly martyrs."
"Fans attending the match really supported the team and made us enthusiastic to win," the 53-year-old coach was quoted as saying on the club’s official website on Saturday.
The African Champions League champions defeated CAF Confederation Cup winners, Congo's AC Leopards, 2-1 in Borg El-Arab stadium, Alexandria, watched by 3,000 spectators.
After a series of wasted chances, Rami Rabeia pushed up from defence to score Ahly’s first goal ten minutes after the restart. Veteran midfielder Mohamed Barakat doubled the lead but Rudy Bhebey Ndey scored for the guests with 12 minutes remaining.
"I am really happy with my goal in the Super Cup. I dedicate it to the beloved fans who attended the game," Rabeia said.
Fans have been banned from attending domestic league matches since last February when 72 Ahly fans died in Port Said Stadium after clashes with rivals Masry.
"I reminded the player of their perfect performance in the CAF Champions League final against Esperance of Tunisia and that gave them a good push," the Red Devils manager added.
"I said earlier that this squad really needed to hold this trophy as it’s their chance to prove their worth while many key players are injured or out on loan."
Midfielder Mohamed Abou-Treika is on loan to UAE’s Bani Yas, while winger Ahmed Fathi is on loan to English Championship side Hull City.
Many other players are sidelined due to injuries, including skipper Hossam Ghali, left winger Sayed Moawad, and midfielders Ahmed Seddik and Walid Soliman.
"Ahly's loaned-out trio of Abou-Treika, Fathi and Geddo, contacted the team after the match to congratulate them on their fine performance and wish them luck in the future," football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz said.
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