Hossam El-Badry, coach of Egypt's Ahly (Photo: AP)
Egypts' Ahly must win against Kenya’s Tusker in order to complete their successful campaign at the African Champions League, the Cairo giants coach Hossam El-Badry has said.
The Cairo giants will host the Kenyan side in Alexandria on Sunday 7 April in the second leg of the prestigious tournament round of 32.
Ahly are favourites to reach the last 16 of Africa's premier club competition, having beaten Tusker 2-1 in Kenya in first leg last month, but El-Badry believes the mission will not easy.
"I refuse to underestimate Tusker”, El-Badry told the Confederation of African football (CAF) official website on Saturday.
“Beating them in their own ground doesn’t mean the mission is done and dusted. We still have a game here and it won’t be an easy one. This is a crucial and tough game and we have to keep focused.
“They are a good team, and their players are very physical and fast. We respect them but I hope to win to put a smile on our supporters’ faces. We were thrilled when a group of them accompanied us in Kenya, and we’ll enjoy their support in Alexandria, even if the security measures cut that into a few thousands," he added.
The Egyptian champions, who won a record-extending seventh Champions League title last year, have to avoid their faults in the first leg to get the upper hand at home on Sunday according to ElBadry.
"We will watch the match again to familiarise ourselves with the opponent’s positive and negative points. We also need to correct our mistakes from the away leg," explained the 52-year old tactician.
"Our victory in Nairobi is in the past now, and we’ll play Sunday’s game as a decisive win which is a must win to qualify.
“We play a game every 72 hours; my players feel exhausted. We have a very packed schedule and we train daily without any rest. We finished the first round of the domestic league on top of our group and that was a good motivation before Tusker game.
"I hope to win this match to finish this stage successfully and start preparing for the next round on a high note," he added.
Ahly boosted by duo return
Ahly will boosted by the return of midfielder Hossam Ashour and left back Sayed Moawad, while the technical staff is still monitoring if winger Walid Soliman will be available or not.
"Our key midfielder Hossam Ashour missed our last game through dental issues, but he’s back and ready now. We also have our left back Sayed Moawad fit again after a long injury. We’re still waiting for Waleed Suleiman’s fitness, while our Captain Hossam Ghaly is still out with a long term knee injury," the Red Devils coach concluded.
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