Patrice Carteron: Qualifying to final a gift for 70 million Al Ahly fans
Cairo giants Al Ahly have reached the CAF Champions League final for a record 12th time despite a 2-1 away defeat to Algerian side ES Setif in the semi-finals.
The Red Devils won the first leg 2-0 in Cairo thanks to goals from Walid Soliman and Islam Mohareb, therefore winning 3-2 on aggregate.
“We faced a big team and I was worried before the game about the physical readiness of the international players,” Carteron said.
“We suffered the same mistakes in the first leg by wasting easy opportunities that we were able to resolve the qualification in Cairo, which led me to stand in the technical area constantly and guide the players very angrily in the final minutes,” he added.
“Of course I am extremely happy to qualify for the CAF Champions League final, it is a huge gift to 70 million Al Ahly fans in Egypt.”
“The players played a good game, we missed some good chances in the first half. After Walid Soliman’s goal, we felt reassured, but because football can go both ways, things turned around and we let in two goals,” he said.
“The return of some of the injured players, like Amr El-Sulaya and Saad Samir, is a win for us other than qualifying to the tournament final.”
“Qualifying is due to the players’ hard work. The missed opportunities could’ve changed the outcome of the match. I will talk to the players emphasizing on the need to benefit from every opportunity in front of the goal by playing with calm nerves until the last minute,” he concluded.
Al Ahly will face Tunisian giants Esperance in the final for the first leg on November 2nd.
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