Ahly's new coach Mohamed Youssef (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef hailed his players' concentration as a key factor behind the team's 4-2 win over rivals Zamalek on Sunday.
Title holders Ahly sealed their qualification for the African Champions League semis after heaping more misery on Cairo rivals Zamalek, who waved goodbye to the competition after another dismal campaign.
"Concentration was a key element in our success today, as we started our preparatory camp earlier last week," Youssef said in a press conference after the match.
"We were fully concentrated on winning because we wanted to avoid an uncertain future, especially considering that the final group stage round will be against Orlando Pirates in South Africa.
"I asked my players to balance between playing quietly while also dominating the match by putting pressure on our opponents, and that helped us a lot with the win.
"We depended on the counter attacks in the second half, especially as Zamalek players relied on attacking football to recover.
"I am really happy with the win, which will ease our mission to reach the next round," the Cairo giants coach concluded.
Ahly are on top of Group A with 10 points, three ahead of South Africa's Orlando Pirates and Congo's AC Leopards. Zamalek, who extended their winless Cairo derby run to16 matches, lie at the bottom with four points.
Seven-time African champions Ahly will reach the semis even if they lose to Orlando in their final qualifying game and Leopards beat Zamalek. If the three sides finish level with 10 points, the head-to-head record between the three teams will favour the Red Devils.
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