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Leisure - Sports

Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-10-04 06:32:59
Egypt's foreign-based players joined up with the national team in Alexandria on Tuesday as the Pharaohs gear up for an anticipated World Cup qualifier at home to Congo next week. The likes of Mohamed Salah, Ramadan Sobhi and Ahmed Hegazi - who all play in the elite English Premier League - joined a training camp held in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where Sunday's clash against Congo will take place at the Borg El-Arab Stadium. Egypt, leaders of Group E with nine points from four matches, will reach the World Cup for the first time in almost three decades with one match to spare if they beat bottom side Congo and Uganda (seven points in second) fail to overcome Ghana at home. The Pharaohs made the last of their two World Cup appearances in 1990 in Italy. "The challenge is stressful, of course. I am taking hypertension medicine due the stress I suffer from the continuing criticism. Life is full of stress, but the challenge of reaching the World Cup is the toughest stress I have faced," Egypt coach Hector Cuper told a news conference on Monday. Egypt will miss defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour, regular playmaker Abdallah El-Said and Saudi-based winger Mahmoud Kahraba, who have all picked up injuries ahead of the Congo tie. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-10-03 08:28:16
Egypt coach Hector Cuper has spoken about the stress he is facing in seeking to take the national team to the World Cup, particularly in the face of ongoing criticism of his decisions. The Argentinean coach made the comments on Monday during a press conference to lay out preparations for the much-anticipated 2018 World Cup qualifier against Congo, taking place at Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Sunday. "The challenge is stressful, of course. I am taking hypertension medicine due the stress I suffer from the continuing criticism. Life is full of stress, but the challenge of reaching the World Cup is the toughest stress I have faced," the 61-year-old tactician revealed. However, despite the pressure, Cuper said he is confident that Egypt is well prepared for the upcoming clash with Congo. The Pharaohs have kicked off a training camp in Cairo, with the squad completed by the joining of Ahly players, after playing their first leg of the African Champions League away is Sousse Sunday losing 2-1 to Etoile du Sahel. "Congo is a good team combining players with great individual skill, but we are ready for the game," Cuper confidently stated. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-10-02 07:25:54
Egypt's Al-Ahly managed to score away from home but eventually lost 2-1 at Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel in the CAF Champions League semi-final first leg in Sousse on Sunday. The hosts took the lead through midfielder Alaya Brigui in the 16th minute, before substitute Saleh Gomaa managed to equalize with his first kick of the game six minutes after the hour mark. Etoile, however, were able to score again in the 73rd minute through another midfielder in Mohamed Amine Ben Amor to emerge winners from the first leg. Ahly, who overcame another Tunisians in Esperance with a 4-3 aggregate win in the last-eight, came into the game missing the services of midfield pillar Hossam Ashour due to injury. The eight-time African champions host Etoile after three weeks at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium. The game started with high tempo, with Etoile pouring forward as they pressed in advanced positions and unreservedly pushed their full-backs forward. The Tunisians had the upper hand in the center of the park, as Ahly's midfield pair Amr El-Sulaya and Hesham Mohamed looked unable to cope with their opposite numbers. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-10-01 06:03:21
Egypt's Ahly are brimming with confidence and enjoying a psychological edge over African Champions League semi-final opponents Etoile du Sahel as they continue their quest for a record-extending ninth trophy in Sousse on Sunday. Ahly play Etoile away from home in the first leg of the semi-final clash almost a week after they came from a goal down to earn a famous 2-1 victory over another Tunisian side, Esperance, in Rades. The precious comeback win, thanks to goals from Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul and Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi, lifted Ahly to the last four with a 4-3 aggregate win after a 2-2 first-leg draw in Alexandria had made their task difficult. The Red Devils are in a buoyant mood going into the anticipated clash in Sousse, with their fans speaking of a psychological edge over Tunisian opponents. They fondly recall a memorable Champions League triumph in 2006 when a last-gasp volley from iconic playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika broke the hearts of Sfaxien and gave Ahly the coveted trophy in dramatic fashion. However, the Red Devils are not as prolific as they used to be back then. Their defence and goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy have not been convincing lately and their forwards are not firing on all cylinders. Etoile qualified for the final with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Libya's Ahli Tripoli following a 0-0 first-leg draw, with Egyptian striker Amr Marei notching a brace after a rare start. The summer recruit from Egypt's Enppi is expected to start against Ahly. "The match against Etoile will be even stronger than our match against Esperance because of the morale boost our opponents got from their win over Ahli Tripoli," Ahly's chairman Mahmoud Taher, who is likely to seek re-election against the team's footballing great Mahmoud El-Khatib in November, said on the club's official website. "The atmosphere will also be more exciting because of Etoile's huge popularity in Sousse. "But Ahly's players and technical staff members are all focused on overcoming Etoile and winning the trophy to take part in the Club World Cup." Ahly and Etoile met in the Champions League final in 2005 and 2007. The Cairo giants prevailed with comprehensive 3-0 aggregate win in 2005 but Etoile had the upper hand two years later, securing a 3-1 victory in Cairo after the first leg ended goalless. Ahly may miss influential defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour after he hurt his knee in a training session before the match. Playmaker Ahmed El-Sheikh, back from a loan spell with Maqassa, is also a major doubt because of a back complaint. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-09-24 10:43:04
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has hailed the perfect start of the club's newcomer Mohamed Salah, insisting that Egyptian's participation in the full pre-season programme made the difference. “Mo has played better than anyone could have imagined,” Klopp was quoted as saying by the club's official website on Saturday. “He’s a very good player, one we were convinced about. That’s why we did it," the coach added. Since making a switch from AS Roma to Liverpool this summer, the former Chelsea and Fiorentina winger made a quick impact, scoring five goals in his first eight matches with Liverpool in all competitions. “You could see in the first game at Watford, it was quite difficult for him at the beginning. It was really physical and maybe a few people had doubts and thought it would be difficult for him," Klopp, the former Borussia Dortmund coach, explained. “But now he’s much more stable. When he was at Chelsea, he was only a kid there. Now he’s much more mature, his style of play and also physically. Everything is better. “I’m not surprised but you should not take things like this for granted as sometimes new players need time," the 50-year old tactician added. The Pharaohs star, Salah, was lucky to enjoy a full pre-season program with his new teammates and Klopp is certain the 25-year-old has profited from having the opportunity to adapt with Liverpool’s style during that period. “He had a whole pre-season, which changed everything so it’s not settling in a minute, which people now probably expect from [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain],” added Klopp. “Mo had a pre-season, good sessions, bad sessions, good games, less good games, so it’s all good," he concluded. After five weeks of the English Premier League new season, Liverpool lie at the eighth place in the league table with eight points, five behind leaders Manchester City. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-09-21 08:51:20
Egypt's former Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly has stressed his loyalty to his boyhood club despite his recent sudden move to Al-Nasr of Saudi Arabia in a free summer transfer and revealed he is considering retiring international career. In a lengthy interview with Ahram Sports weekly magazine, Ghali said "It's impossible for me to escape from Ahly. This didn't happen during my entire career. My contract just expired and the domestic competition's schedule wasn't fixed regularly and I needed to be part of a fixed tournament … I was offered a move from Al-Nasr club which I joined in 2009 and I have good memories from my spell there," The 36-year-old, who started his career with Ahly's first team in 2000, had successful journeys playing abroad in Europe with Feyenoord, Tottenham Hotspur, Derby County and Lierse before settling down at his boyhood club since 2014. "I expect an Ahly return again. I really hope this happens as I can't live without Ahly. I will reconsider my future when my spell at Al-Nasr ends. I am thinking about starting a managerial career after my retirement as a player." Il Capitano, as many fans like to nickname him, also discussed his relationships with teammates and coach, commenting on several disputes he was involved in with colleagues over the years. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-09-20 11:06:56
Ahly's technical staff is confident of achieving a positive result against Tunisia's Esperance to ensure a place at the African Champions League semis according to assistant coach Ahmed Ayoub. "We didn't speak about the first leg as we our totally focused on the preparation for the next game," Ayoub told an Egyptian radio station on Tuesday. "Esperance is a big team but we are confident that we can beat them and reach the semi final," he added. The Reds have been frustrated to a 2-2 home draw last Sunday. The Cairo giants are in a must-win situation in the return match in Tunisia next Saturday continu their quest for a first tile since 2013 alive. "Morale will be a key factor in the coming match. We have some experienced players while others haven't been under such pressure but in general the whole team is able to pass this situation. "I hope that we wouldn't concede any goals as this will make our task more difficult. Our game needs to be balanced. "The mission is difficult but not impossible and we won in different occasions before in Rades," the assistant coach concluded. The eight-time African Champions have beaten Esperance in Rades 2-1 after a 2-2 home draw to win the title of the 2012 edition. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-09-18 07:46:19
Egyptian Al-Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry has stated that his side was better than their Tunisian rivals Esperance, regardless of the result, in the first leg of the African Champions League quarterfinals held on home soil Sunday. "Ahly wasted many scoring chances and were able to dominate the field, and but final result doesn't really represents that performance," the 59-year-old tactician stated on the club's official website. The Cairo giants were held to a 2-2 draw after coming from behind twice. Critics blamed goalkeeper Sherif Ekrami for a surprisingly humble performance. "I refuse to focus on Ekrami individually. Defensive mistakes cost us the two goals. The referee cancelled a penalty for us and this could have changed the result," El-Badry added. El-Badry insisted that Ahly can still make it to the semifinals, expressing full confidence in his squad's appearance in the second leg away, next Saturday. "I hope we don't pressure the players too much ahead of the away game in Tunisia, especially as we still have a chance to qualify for the semifinals. The next match needs a balanced strategy," he added. The Reds are heading to Rades this week, hoping for a victory on Saturday in order to pursue their quest for a first Champions League title since 2013. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-09-17 07:32:08
An error by Ahly's keeper Sherif Ekrami allowed Esperance to claim a precious 2-2 away draw on Saturday in the first leg of the African Champions League quarter finals. The 34-year-old international keeper rose to catch a long range free kick from Ghailane Chaalali, but the ball slipped between his hands into his own net, bringing the score to a 2-1 lead for Esperance in the 48th minute after first half goals from Abdallah El-Said in the 10th minute and Yassine Khenessi in the 20th minute. Moroccan striker Walid Azaro earned the draw for the eight-time African Champions in the 67th minute, giving little hope for the Reds ahead of next week’s return leg in Rades. Action started as early as the 5th minute when Ahmed El-Sheikh squandered an easy chance as he intercepted a low cross from Azaro inside the six yards but he put it in the hands of the Tunisian keeper. Five minutes later, the Reds hit Esperance on the counter as Ahmed Fathi sent a long ball to El-Said, who unleashed Azaro clear in the area only to be fouled by Montassar El-Talbi. El-Said converted the penalty kick on the right bottom corner after sending the keeper in the wrong direction. Azaro could have doubled the lead seven minutes later when El-Sheikh swung in a cross from the right, but his header went wide. The visitors pressed forward to cause Ahly's defence some anxious moments. Ekrami was alerted by a powerful shot from Yassine Khenessi, but he managed to block it firmly. In the 20th minute, Chaalali flicked a corner to Khenessi – unmarked at the far post – to score the equaliser from close range. It took some time for the hosts to regain their composure, but they were back again on offense and Azaro was guilty of a glaring mistake when he missed the target from inside the box with only the keeper to beat. However, Ahly seemed unable to maintain their domination on the game, especially with their rivals applying high pressure to prevent their build-up play. The hosts were stunned just after the interval by Chaalali's goal against the course of play. Coach Hossam El-Badri brought in Walid Soliman and Saleh Gomaa to bolster his attack against a packed Tunisian defense. Finally, Azaro converted Ahly's domination when he picked the rebound from Gomaa's free kick to slot home the equaliser in the 67th minute. As Esperance sat back on defense, Ahly attacked in waves and keeper Moez Ben Cherifia produced some impressive saves to deny Ajayi, Fathi and veteran striker Emad Meteb. The Reds will now head to Rades hoping for a victory on Saturday to pursue their quest for a first title since 2013. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2017-09-14 07:48:12
Scoring an away goal would be Esperance's primary target in their anticipated African Champions League clash against Egypt's Ahly, their goalkeeper Moez Ben Chrifia said on Thursday. Ahly host Esperance at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab stadium on Saturday in the first-leg of the Champions League quarters before facing the Tunisian side away from home one week later. "Our target will be to score against Ahly in Alexandria, whatever the result of the game," Ben Chrifia told Tunisian newspaper Assabah. The international keeper believes Esperance are capable of earning a "positive result" in the first leg, saying his side are fully prepared for the crunch tie. "We are now in our top form; we just need to believe in our capabilities and our ability to overcome Ahly." The Tunisian champions reached the quarter-finals as Group C leaders with 12 points, three ahead of second-placed Sundowns of South Africa who won the last edition of the Champions League. The 26-year-old admits that Ahly's clash will be very tough, saying the Cairo giants are Esperance's toughest opponent in their bid to win their first Champions League title since 2011. "They are our main opponent in our bid to win the title but we are ready for any opponents as we are looking to win the title," he added. More»