Al Ahly and Egypt legend Emad Meteb has praised Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane’s approach to their game against Esperance in the CAF Champions League.
Mohamed Sherif’s second-half strike against Tunisia’s Esperance was enough for Al Ahly to secure the first leg win in the CAF Champions League semi-finals, giving them a big advantage going into the second leg.
The Reds now need just a draw in Egypt in order to reach the Champions League final for the second consecutive year, where they will face either Wydad Casablanca or Kaizer Chiefs.
Just as the players were warming up before the encounter, conflicts arose between the Esperance fans and the local police, forcing match officials to push the game for one hour.
During what can only be described as an hour of chaos and uncertainty, the Al Ahly players remained in their dressing room awaiting for the Confederation of African Football’s verdict on the future of the encounter.
Meteb was impressed with the way the Al Ahly officials and coaching staff dealt with the situation and their decision to play the game either way.
“Personally, I love playing in front of big crowds, and El-Khatib’s decision to play the match today against Esperance in these difficult circumstances is a decision only big personalities who bear true responsibilities can make,” he told OnTime Sport TV.
“Mosimane respected Esperance without exaggeration or underestimation, and the presence of El-Khatib at the head of Al-Ahly’s mission in Tunisia was an important factor in winning victory and returning from Rades with a precious win,” he added.
“Mosimane refused to attack against Esperance in the first leg, and played a match with great balance and relied on the right players and the best method. The Reds were the most dangerous throughout the match and deserved to win,” he concluded.
Al Ahly is scheduled to host the second next Saturday, June 26 at the Al Ahly Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo.