KingFut rounds up group stage matches of the 2017 Africa Cup of...
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Gedo returns as Al Ahly frustrated by unbeaten Ittihad in goalless stalemate
The Cairo International Stadium, which will host the African Super Cup between Al Ahly and Sfaxien next week, was the venue for the 9th round of the Egyptian Premier League between Al Ahly and Al Ittihad of Alexandria.
The African giants’ performances have been lacking in their past three matches – winning only one against Ghazl El-Mahalla thanks to a penalty kick while losing two against Arab Contractors and El-Dakhleya 1-2 and 0-1 respectively.
Al Ahly’s coach Mohamed Youssef followed the match from the stands as he was banned for a game because of his objections against the referee in Ahly’s previous match against Ghazl El-Mahalla.
Al Ahly’s starting XI:
Sherif Ekramy – Mohamed Naguib – Rami Rabia – Sayed Moawad – Saad El-Din Samir – Ahmed Shokry – Shehab El-Din Ahmed – Mahmoud Trezeguet – Abdallah El-Said – Ahmed Raouf – Gedo.
Al-Ittihad of Alexandria’s Starting XI:
Ali Farag – Mohamed Adel – Ali Gabr – Hossam Abdul-Gawad – Fathi Mabrouk – Alaa Kamal – Ayman Said – Mahmoud Fathi – Ahmed Sherweida – Mohamed El-Morsy – Mohamed Hamdy.
Al-Ittihad started things off, wanting to take advantage of Al Ahly’s current poor form. Alaa Kamal received a great pass and shot the ball from the edge of the box, only for Ekramy to save it.
Ayman Said could have scored when a free-kick was awarded to him in a dangerous position, however, Ahly’s wall did it’s job.
Neither goalkeepers were really tested then. Al-Ittihad were more dangerous as they were even able to control possession as Al Ahly players frequently lost the ball due to miss-passes.
Half-way through the first half, Al Ahly regained possession of the ball. Gedo, who was making his first start since returning from Hull City – and only just recovering from a knock – was in a great position to score when Ahmed Shokry’s cross reached him inside the box but his header was very weak and easily saved.
Amr Gamal and El-Sayed Hamdy came in for Trezeguet and Ahmed Raouf in order to boost Al Ahly’s offense. Al Ahly seemed to have the match under control but this did little in altering the result of the match.
Burkina Faso international Moussa Yedan, Al Ahly’s recent signing from Coton Sport, came on for his debut replacing Mohamed Naguib in the 74th minute. The Burkinabé had a good start considering that the team have not been in their best shape in recent weeks.
The most dangerous chance for Al Ahly in the match came in the 76th minute. Ahmed Shokry from the right side of the pitch crossed the ball nicely towards El-Sayed Hamdy who was denied by Ali Farag from close range.
Ittihad remain unbeaten in the league while Al Ahly temporarily occupy the first place in Group A with 16 points, but Arab Contractors who are on 15 points have a game in hand ahead of their match against ENPPI on Wednesday.
Al Ahly also have an upcoming CAF Super Cup clash against Sfaxien of Tunisia next Thursday – 20 February.