The record eight-time African champions were beaten 1-0 by Simba, courtesy of a Meddie Kagere second half goal, at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium to record their first Group D loss in this campaign.
But Lasarte placed fault on the hot Dar-es-Salaam weather for the defeat. “The heat and high humidity affected us especially in the second-half and it exhausted my players,” Lasarte was quoted as saying by Kingfut.
“I played with three players in midfield to rest the players because of the heat. Simba players also wasted a lot of time by falling on the ground over 15 times. This doesn’t respect the fair play rules.
“Al Ahly is used to looking forward, our goal is to win two remaining games and qualify for the second round while reaching our goal which is winning the tournament.”
While the Egyptian giants remained top of Group D, their gap at the summit was reduced from three points to one. They visit Congolese giants AS Vita in their next match on February 9.