After losing 2-1 to Ahly in the CAF Champions League group stage, AC Leopards of Congo's Joseph Marius Omog said that he didn't blame his players for losing as they did their best throughout the game and still have a chance to reach the semifinals when they take on South Africa's Orlando Pirates.
AC Leopards, who have collected only four points out of a possible twelve, have not lost hope of qualifying for the semifinals, despite tough competition in Group A. They are currently level with Egypt's Zamalek and three points behind joint leaders Pirates and Ahly, with two matches remaining.
"We respect Egypt despite the atmosphere that we played in," Omog was quoted as saying, according to Cafonline.
Egyptian authorities initially planned to stage the game behind closed doors due to lingering security concerns, but Ahly’s hardcore fans (Ultras Ahlawy) pressured them into reversing this decision.
Authorities might have regretted lifting the crowd ban when fan disturbances forced a 25-minute delay of kick-off, after a fight reportedly erupted between sections of the fans at El-Gouna Stadium in a Red Sea resort.
"We played a good game but wasting a penalty affected the players," Omog added.
AC Leopards are scheduled to face Congolese side Orlando Pirates in the 5th matchday of the CAF Champions League group stage on 14 September.
"We are concentrating now on the Orlando Pirates game in Congo, as we don't have a choice except to win," the AC Leopards' coach concluded.