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Al Ahly manager aims for second place finish, Ghaly denies insulting referee
Al Ahly manager Fathi Mabrouk said that they are aiming to finish second in the Egyptian Premier League this season following their 1-0 loss to Haras El-Hodood.
Al Ahly’s loss on Sunday represented the fifth loss for the team in this season’s league. It made it almost impossible for Al Ahly to retain their title as the gap with the league leaders Zamalek widened to 11 points, with the Whites having an extra game in hand.
“Luck wasn’t on our side in El-Hodood’s game, and although each match has its circumstances, Al Ahly’s aim is to win every game,” Mabrouk said.
“Competing for the league title became very difficult, and our main aim at the moment is to finish the league in the second place in order to participate in the CAF Champions League next season,” he added.
Al Ahly midfielder Hossam Ghaly was dismissed from the field after receiving two yellow cards in El-Hodood game. Mabrouk, however, refused to blame the refereeing over the team’s loss.
“I won’t justify the loss and won’t blame it on the refereeing, I don’t like coaches who talk about refereeing or criticize it,” Mabrouk said.
Ghaly, however, who was stripped of captaincy after throwing the captain’s armband following his dismissal, said that he didn’t cross the line or insult the referee.
Egypt international said that the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) decision to suspend him for only one game proves his words.
“If the referee said that I crossed the line, I would have been suspended for a longer period,” Ghaly said.