File Photo: New Brazilian national head coach Tite attends a news conference. (Photo: Reuters)
League leaders Ahly made it 11 wins on the spin after overcoming a plucky Assiouty Sport side 1-0 at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium on Friday.
The winner was scored by substitute Walid Soliman from the spot 20 minutes from time, after the referee had adjudged Assiouty’s Mohanad Mostafa to have handled the ball inside the area in what appeared to be a debatable decision.
Ahly returning skipper Hossam Ghaly was included in the squad for the first time since arriving in January from Saudi side Al-Nassr, but the 36-year-old midfielder remained confined to the bench throughout.
The defending champions cemented their position on top of the Egyptian league table with 63 points, 17 ahead of second-placed Ismaily who played a game less. Assiouty are 12th on 29 points.
Hosts Assiouty started the game strongly, looking to pressure Ahly high up the pitch as they managed to win the ball back on several occasions.
The first real chance of the game belonged to the home side, when striker Benson Shilongo hit a powerful strike from inside the area, but was denied by keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi in the 15th minute.
Ahly controlled afterwards but barely managed to threaten Assiouty’s goal, until midfielder Hesham Mohamed saw a header narrowly go wide seconds before the half-time whistle.
The second half was largely an insipid affair until the referee sparked controversy when he awarded Ahly a penalty after adjudging Assiouty’s Mohanad to have handled the ball inside the area, amid protests from the hosts.
Soliman, who came on as a second-half substitute in place of the injured Abdallah El-Said, made no mistake from 12 yards, smashing the net as he sent the keeper the wrong way in the 70th minute to give Ahly all three points.
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