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CAF Champions League

Mosimane pleased with game plan and changes as Al Ahly make strong start to Caf Champions League title defence

08:00 GMT 17/02/2021
Pitso Mosimane, Al Ahly, January 2021
The South African tactician was also grateful to El Shenawy, who was in top form between the sticks for the Red Devils

Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane was pleased to see his game plan work as they began their Caf Champions League title defence with an emphatic win on Tuesday. 

The Egyptian champions claimed a 3-0 victory over Sudanese giants Al Merrikh SC in a Group A match at Cairo International Stadium.

Three second-half goals from Mohamed Magdi Kafsha, Mahmoud Kahraba and Walter Bwalya inspired the Red Devils to a comfortable home victory.

“We scored late today, but in the end, we managed to secure our first three points in the 2021 Caf Champions League group stage," Mosimane told the media. 

"Our opponent today stood their ground during the first half, but once we scored the opener we controlled the game.”

Mosimane felt that their game plan worked as they were able to hurt Al Merrikh by playing dangerous crosses into the visitors' box.  

“I kept the team’s tactics the same even before scoring the goals. We depended today on the flanks as Al Merrikh were blocking our final third," he explained. 

"The crosses played an important role in today’s victory, as Kafsha managed to score the opener from [Mohamed] Hany’s cross.” 

The accomplished tactician was able to mastermind a win over the reigning Sudanese champions without some of his key players. 

“We missed five starters in today’s game," the former Mamelodi Sundowns head coach added. 

"Also, I preferred to rest some players such as Hamdy Fathy and I gave playing time to Saad Samir, Mahmoud Wahid, and Ahmed Ramadan, as they did not participate in the previous games.” 

DR Congolese striker Walter Bwalya netted his maiden goal for the Red Devils, while the club's captain and goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy made some good saves to keep the visitors at bay.

“I am glad that Bwalya managed to score his first goal for us. I would like to praise Mohamed El Shenawy for his great performance in the game," he said. 

"As he managed to save our net from two dangerous chances.”

Al Ahly will now take on Tanzanian giants Simba in their second Group A match in Dar-es-Salam on February 23.