Weiler begins Ahly era in Malabo

Al Ahly

With a new coach at the helm and new players on board, Egyptian giants Al Ahly start yet another dream towards ending a six-year wait for the premier continental club championship.

The Red Devils last won the prestigious CAF Champions League title in 2013, and are hoping to extend their dominance with an unprecedented ninth title to their famous red jersey.

Ahly travels to Equatorial Guinea capital Malabo to take on newcomers Cano Sport on Saturday in the first leg of the Round of 16. After an emphatic 13-0 aggregate victory over South Sudan’s Atlabara in the preliminary round, the eight-time winners will now seek to overcome another hurdle in their way to the mini-league stage.

Last week, Ahly unveiled their new coach, Swiss Rene Weiler, who has penned a one -year contract. Weiler, who is the first Swiss to manage the Cairo giants succeeded Uruguayan Martin Lasarte who was sacked last month.

“Al Ahly is a great club and I know everything about them”, Weiler told the media at his unveiling last week. “Our target is to win all competitions, and on top of the list is CAF Champions League. I know Ahly last won it in 2013 and that it’s their first priority. We will do our best to achieve that”.

The Red Devils recruited three new players this summer, while extending the loan deal of their winger Ramadan Sobhy from English Championship side Huddersfield Town. Malian midfielder Aliou Dieng joined from Algerian giants MC Alger, while defender Mahmoud Mitwally and playmaker Mohamed Magdy “Afsha” are from local sides Ismaily and Pyramids respectively.

“Our target is to win all competitions, and on top of the list is the CAF Champions League. I know Ahly last won it in 2013 and that it’s their first priority. We will do our best to achieve that," Rene Weiler
Weiler

Besides Dieng, Ahly has four more foreign players in their ranks. Moroccan forward Walid Azaro, wingers Junior Ajayi (Nigeria) and Geraldo (Angola), besides Tunisian left back Ali Maaloul who was voted Ahly Player of the Season after some brilliant performances that saw him scoring 11 goals and assisting 10 in all competitions last season.

As Ahly supporters are looking forward to their first competitive game under Weiler’s guidance, they are hoping to finish the six-year hiatus away from the title they have won a record eight occasions. They finished as losing finalists in 2017 and 2018, before bowing out the quarterfinals last season.

The return leg is scheduled a fortnight later in Egypt, with aggregate winner advancing to the lucrative group stage. The loser will be demoted to second tier CAF Confederation Cup playoff round.

Fixtures

14.09.2019 Alger JS Kabylie (Algeria) vs Horoya (Guinea)

14.09.2019 Malabo Cano Sport (Eq. Guinea) vs Al Ahly (Egypt)

14.09.2019 Thies Generation Foot (Senegal) vs Zamalek

14.09.2019 Luanda Petro (Angola) vs KCCA (Uganda)

14.09.2019 Victoria Cote d’Or (Seychelles) vs Sundowns (South Africa)

14.09.2019 Dar Yanga (Tanzania) vs Zesco (Zambia)

14.09.2019 Bulawayo FC Platinum (Zimbabwe) vs Songo (Mozambique)

14.09.2019 Lusaka Green Eagles (Zambia) vs Primeiro de Agosto (Angola)

15.09.2019 Lome ASCK (Togo) vs AS Vita (DR Congo)

15.09.2019 Aba Enyimba (Nigeria) vs El Hilal (Sudan)

15.09.2019 Blida USMA (Algeria) vs Gor Mahia (Kenya)

15.09.2019 Kumasi Kotoko (Ghana) vs Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)

15.09.2019 Nouakchott Nouadhibou (Mauritania) vs Wydad (Morocco)

15.09.2019 Ndjamena Elect Sport (Chad) vs Esperance (Tunisia)

15.09.2019 Mahajanga Fosa (Madagascar) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

*15.09.2019 Cairo El Nasr (Libya) vs Raja (Morocco)

*Match will be played in Cairo (Egypt)

Photo: @AlAhlyEgypt.com