Ahly coach confident of retaining CAF Confederation Cup title

Ahly coach confident of retaining CAF Confederation Cup title
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Published June 8th, 2015 - 12:28 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Ahly team
Ahly team

After beating Tunisia's Club Africain (CA) at Rades Stadium on Sunday to reach the CAF Confederation Cup group stage, Ahly coach Fathi Mabrouk has praised his players, saying he believes their spirit can help them retain the trophy they won last year.

With the second leg tied 1-1 eight minutes into injury time, title holders Ahly conceded a goal to the Tunisian side, losing full time to CA 1-2 to make the aggregate score 3-3.

However, the Red Devils still managed to reach the group stage after prevailing in a penalty shootout 5-4.  

"I appreciated the players' performance during the game as they suffered throughout," Mabrouk was quoted as saying during the post game press conference.

Club Africain, who slumped to a 2-1 first-leg defeat in Suez, jumped to an early lead in the seventh minute when Zouheir Dhaouadi sent a delicate chip over Ahly keeper Sherif Ekramy, sending the home fans into raptures.

However, veteran striker Emad Meteb, known for his decisive goals, lived up to expectations following his second-half introduction, scoring on the hour mark to bring Ahly closer to the driving seat in aggregate terms.

In the 50th minute, Ahly, however, were hit by the injury of Ekramy, forcing Mabrouk to call up Ahmed Adel Abdel-Moneim.

"Ahly players managed to deal with the game's hard circumstances that were divided into three parts.

"The first difficult part was the early goal but that didn't affect our players, the second was the forced changes we made due to injuries, and the third was calling a new goalkeeper from the bench to replace injured Ekrami," Mabrouk added.

"I am confident of players' ability to complete their journey in the CAF Confederation Cup and retain the title," the Ahly coach concluded.

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