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VIDEO: Al Ahly’s Champions League hopes dealt blow after loss to ASEC


Photo: Al Ahly official website

Al Ahly’s hopes of securing a spot in the semi-final were dealt another blow after losing 2-1 to at Borg El-Arab Stadium on Tuesday.

The Cairo giants failed to record their first win in the group stage as Tuesday’s loss marked their second consecutive defeat after losing their opener against Zambian Zesco United.

After securing the league title last Friday, Al Ahly entered today’s game against the Ivorian champions hoping to make up for the 3-2 loss in the first game of the group stage against Zesco United. Al Ahly had to play without Ramadan Sobhi, Abdallah El-Said and Malick Evouna who were all excluded from the squad due to injury.

The first chance came in the 15th minute when ASEC’s Yannick Zakri sent a right-footed shot from outside the box but it went wide. Al Ahly failed to break through ASEC’s defense and were unable to pose any real threat.

ASEC’s counter-attacks were rewarding as they took the lead in the 29th minute, as Zakri, who was unmarked, controlled the ball from the edge of the box before his right-footed screamer found the top corner of Ekramy’s net, leaving the Al Ahly keeper helpless.

After conceding the first goal, Al Ahly pushed forward to equalise and they had a number of shots from outside the box in an attempt to create threat to ASEC defense.

Ashour sent a powerful shot with his left but ASEC goalkeeper parried it away in the 37th minute, before John Antwi met Momen’s cross with a header that went above the post in the last minute of the first half.

Al Ahly manager Martin Jol made his first substitution during the break as Hossam Ashour made his way for striker Amr Gamal.

Eight minutes into the second half, Ahmed Hegazy scored the equaliser for the Red Devils. Antwi’s header was cleared by ASEC goalkeeper, before Hegazy pounced on the ball and smashed into the empty net.

Al Ahly failed to translate their pressure and control into more goals. Walid Soliman attempted to score directly from a corner, but the ball was cleared by the keeper. Later, Antwi missed a clear chance to give Al Ahly the lead after meeting Fathi’s cross with a header that went over the post.

Ten minutes to full time, Ekramy let the ball in through his feet for Niamke to tap into the empty net, scoring the winner for ASEC.

Al Ahly players attempted to score an equaliser in the remaining minutes but failed as the game ended in a 2-1 victory for ASEC.

The defeat leaves Al Ahly at the bottom of the group with zero points from two games. They are scheduled to host Wydad Casablanca in their third match of the group stage mid-July.

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