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CAF Champions League

'Al Ahly needed focus, not excuse vs Esperance despite police drama' - Mosimane

11:29 BST 20/06/2021
Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane vs Simba SC.
The Egyptian giants returned to Cairo with an advantage courtesy of a slim win in a game that was dramatically delayed for one hour

Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane has stated they did not want to make excuses despite the pre-match drama that clouded their Caf Champions League first-leg tie against Esperance in Rades on Saturday.
 
Al Ahly had to abandon their pre-match warm up as the police reacted with 'gas bombs' against Esperance fans. The game was delayed for an hour due to a clash between the authorities and the fans, but Mosimane's team won thanks to a Mohamed Sherif goal.

"We are dealing with all circumstances. Against Al-Hilal last season, the atmosphere was more difficult because the fans of the Sudanese team stormed the field," Mosimane said as per Kingfut.com.

"We don’t have any problem dealing with such situations.

"The difficulty was that the team ate their last meal three hours before the match, and after it was postponed for an hour, the team did not eat for four hours, and because of this, we lacked energy in the last minutes of the second half."

"We didn’t want to make excuses. We had to be very focused during the match, and I’m not saying that because we won."

The former Mamelodi Sundowns coach said he and senior players had to calm the rest of the squad before the game began.

"I asked the players to calm down, because their role is to play football," he added.

"We spoke with the players before the match to motivate them, but after what happened we had to renew their motives again, and this happened with the help of Mohamed El-Shennawy, Saad Samir, and Sayed Abdel-Hafiz.

"It’s not just about me, I’m surrounded by a group of great people, but I’m not alone.

"I always tell the players that we are a good and strong team. I saw Al Ahly win without many players, but it does not matter who plays."I was infected with the coronavirus and I was not in the matches, but the team won.

"El-Shennawy missed the Cairo derby against Zamalek and the team won, Afsha missed games and we won. The team is the most important.

"I put all my focus on winning and developing the team.

"Al Ahly is a great team and I came to them when they were big. There are many coaches who have done many things like Manuel Jose, who inspired me a lot and I respect him because he is a legend."