Atletico come from behind to defeat Al Ahly
Atletico Madrid came back from 2-0 down to beat Al Ahly in a friendly which featured several other big names from Arab football, such as Al Muwallad, Kahraba and Al Shalhoub of the Saudi League.
The comeback was inspired by a Kevin Gameiro hat-trick in the second half.
Al Ahly XI: Ahmed Adel; Ahmed Samy, Ramy Sabry, Basem Ali, Sabry Raheel; Hesham Mohamed, Mahmoud Abdelaziz, Mohamed Farouk, Kahraba; Fahd Al Muwallad, Hassan Al Raheb.
Atletico Madrid XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Lucas, Rafa Muñoz, Sergi; Thomas, Gabi, Carrasco, Keidi; Correa, Torres
Kahraba, formerly of Zamalek, has scored against Atletico in the past for Al Ittihad, and came very close to creating the first goal just ten minutes into the game however his through ball was recovered by Jan Oblak. Kahraba continued to cause havoc for the rigid Atletico backline, including a cheeky nutmeg on Belgium international Yannick Carrasco.
Shortly before half time, Momen Zakaria scored a spectacular finessed shot into the corner past the helpless Oblak to make it 1-0 to Al Ahly. This was not Zakaria’s first goal against top European opposition, as he scored in a 4-3 friendly win over Roma.
Atletico brought on star forward Antoine Griezmann at half time, however it was Ahmed El Sheikh who made the immediate impact as he gave the Egyptian side a surprise 2-0 lead with a scrappy goal from an Al Shalhoub set piece.
Perhaps Al Ahly started to get complacent, as they left Kevin Gameiro unmarked in their penalty area to give him the simplest of tasks to get Atletico into the game with a header.
Following the goal, Marwan Mohsen made his return to football following a year out with injury, however the positive energy was quickly wiped out as Gameiro doubled his tally to equalise for Los Rojiblancos.
There was more emotion in the stadium as Momen Zakaria was subbed off in his farewell appearance for the club before departing to the United Arab Emirates.
Yet again, the mood was dampened by Simeone’s men as Gameiro picked up his hat trick after latching onto a clever flick from the aforementioned Griezmann. Atletico then held on to win the game 3-2.
Al Ahly’s next competitive game will be against Al Nasr on Tuesday 2nd of January, where they will be hoping to kick off 2018 in style.
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