VIDEO: Al Ahly suffer shock defeat to Jordan’s Faisaly in Arab Championship opener
Egyptian champions Al Ahly fell to a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Jordan’s Al-Faisaly in the Arab Club Championship opener at El-Salam Stadium on Saturday.
Al Ahly relied on a second-string side against Al-Faisaly and rested a number of key players including Sherif Ekramy, Abdallah El-Said and Ahmed Fathi.
Despite controlling possession in the first half, Al Ahly failed to create enough clear-cut chances. The most dangerous chance came after 10 minutes when Mido Gaber failed to capitalise on a defensive error by Al-Faisaly and sent the ball over the bar instead.
The Red Devils squandered another chance to break the deadlock when Al Ahly striker Amr Gamal, linked with a move to South Africa’s Bidvest Wits, failed to capitalise on Al-Faisaly keeper Moataz Yassin howler.
Just before halftime, Karim Nedved scored for Al Ahly but the referee ruled the goal out for offside. Bassem Ali played a brilliant through-ball to Nedved who found the back of the net before the goal was disallowed.
The Jordanian side were in front just 10 minutes after the restart, as Yousef Al-Rawashdeh scored the opener. Mohamed Naguib’s cross inside the box was intercepted by Al-Rawashdeh who easily slotted past keeper Mohamed El-Shennawy.
Al-Faisaly nearly doubled their lead three minutes later but El-Shennawy diverted the ball out for a corner to keep the score at 1-0.
In an attempt to level the score, the Cairo giants made a number of substitutions with Al Ahly new signing Walid Azarou, Ahmed Hamoudi and Amr Barakat coming on to replace Mido Gaber, Akram Tawfik and Amr Gamal.
They kept pushing for the equaliser but failed to really threaten their opponents as Al-Faisaly claimed a 1-0 win, marking their first ever victory over the Cairo giants.
Meanwhile, Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey defeated UAE’s Al-Wahda FC 2-0 in the other Group A game on Saturday. The Red Devils will face the UAE outfit on Tuesday before concluding the group stage against the Algerian side on Friday.
Egypt’s other representative Zamalek, who were drawn in Group B, will kick-off their campaign against Morocco’s Fath Union Sport on Sunday.
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