Al Ahly’s Koller Begs Sundowns For Redemption After Heavy Defeat
The coach of Al Ahly, Marcel Koller, has made an indirect appeal to Mamelodi Sundowns for assistance in securing their qualification for the quarterfinals of the Caf Champions League. Al Ahly finds themselves in a precarious position after suffering a defeat on Saturday and facing the risk of elimination from the competition. In light of this, Koller has requested aid from the Downs as they prepare to face Al Hilal and Coton Sport in their upcoming fixtures.
On Saturday, Al Ahly suffered a humiliating 5-2 defeat at the hands of Masandawana at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. This loss has placed the Egyptian team at risk of being eliminated from Africa’s premier club competition at the group stage, as they currently sit on four points, six behind leaders Downs, with Al Hilal Omdurman in second place with nine points. As a result, Koller has made a request to the Premier Soccer League leaders for assistance in their remaining fixtures against Al Hilal, which will take place away, and at home against Coton Sport.
In a statement to the media, Koller expressed his hope that Mamelodi Sundowns would approach their next two fixtures against Al Hilal and Coton Sport with fairness and integrity, as he believes them to be a reputable and professional team. In terms of Al Ahly’s chances of qualifying for the next stage of the competition, Koller refrained from giving a definitive answer.
Furthermore, Koller extended his congratulations to Sundowns for their deserved victory in the previous match, acknowledging that his team had played poorly in the first half. Despite a stronger showing in the second half, Al Ahly’s attempts to take risks and get back into the game were met with effective counter-attacks from Sundowns, ultimately making it difficult for them to salvage a draw. Koller emphasized that while his team had improved in the second half, their performance in the first half did not meet their standards as a team.
Taking a broader view of Al Ahly’s campaign, they began their journey with a 1-0 loss away to Al Hilal, whom Mamelodi Sundowns had also defeated by the same scoreline. This was followed by a 2-2 draw against the Brazilians, before securing their first win in Group B with a 3-0 victory over Coton Sport.
With this recent defeat putting Al Ahly’s qualification hopes in jeopardy, Koller will be under pressure to ensure that the former champions advance to the next phase of the annual competition.
Looking ahead, the Red Devils are set to face Coton Sport next Friday, where securing all three points will be crucial if they are to maintain their slim chances of progressing to the next stage.