Ahly begin life after Badry with league win over Bani Suef

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 8 May 2013

A depleted Ahly side claim a 2-1 victory over Bani Suef Telephones in their first match under the guidance of new coach Mohamed Youssef

Bani Suef Telephones 1-2 Ahly
Ahly beat Bani Suef Telephones 2-1 on Wednesday (photo: Ahram)

Ahly began life after coach Hossam El-Badry with a 2-1 Egyptian Premier League win over Bani Suef Telephones that gave his successor Mohamed Youssef a winning start on Wednesday.

Diminutive left-back Ahmed Shedid put Ahly ahead with a curling free kick midway through the first half but Sherif Reda brought the hosts level with a close-range header on 33 minutes.

Winger Ahmed Shokry, who spent last season on loan at Bani Suef Telephones, haunted his former club with a low shot in the second half to ensure Youssef's adventure in charge of Egypt's most successful club got off to a winning start after he worked as El-Badry's assistant for nearly a year.

El-Badry incurred the wrath of the Red Devils after abruptly stepping down to take charge of Libya's Ahly Tripoli, citing personal reasons. He departed after helping the club book a place at the African Champions League group stage at the expense of Tunisia's Bizertin.

Defending champions Ahly, who are eyeing an eighth consecutive league crown, secured their sixth successive victory despite missing several key players through injury and suspension, including central midfield duo Hossam Ashour and Shehab Ahmed.

They also had to do without defensive pair Sherif Abdel-Fadil and Mohamed Naguib but made light of their absences to go five points clear of second-placed ENPPI at the top of Group A with five matches remaining.

The top two in each group will advance to the final round, where a mini-league with only home fixtures will be held to determine the champion.   

Emad Meteb had a header that narrowly missed the target after 11 minutes but Shedid made amends on 21 minutes to put Ahly in front, his angled and curling free kick striking the hands of goalkeeper Ali Farag to go in off the post.

Despite taking the lead, Ahly's midfield gaps was repeatedly exposed by Bani Suef Telephones, who were let down by some poor finishing from striker Ahmed Sherweida.

However, they managed to restore parity in the 33rd minute when Reda ghosted behind a static backline to head home from close range following a deep free kick.

Sherweida spurned a golden opportunity to give his side the lead on the stroke of halftime when was played clean through by a deft pass but his weak effort was blocked by advancing keeper Sherif Ekramy.

Ahly, who lacked creativity despite the presence of playmaker Abdallah El-Said, who was a peripheral figure, restored their lead nine minutes after the restart when Shokry dispossessed an opponent before sending a low shot that went into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

The wasteful Sherweida volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy two minutes later and chances went begging at both ends during a more open second half.

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