Monday, March 26, 2012

Ethiopian Coffee held to a goalless draw by Ahly

Ethiopian Coffee FC

The Ethiopian club side Coffee FC settled for a goalless draw  with the Egyptian side Al Ahly in the Orange CAF Champions League first leg at Addis Ababa Stadium on Sunday.

The six time champions Al Ahly  were playing their first competitive game since the tragedy in Port Said in February. Ahly played attacking football all through to the end which seemed to unsettle the home side. The visitors were unaffected by the Addis Ababa high altitude showing strength to cover the full length of the pitch in particular the second half. 

Mohamed Barakat and Mohamed Nagy started the game for Ahly despite Coach Jose’s earlier suggestion that they are unlikely to feature due to injury.  Mohamed Aboutrika came on as a substitution in the second half and made a good attempt with a looping header just seconds from the final whistle. “It was in the mouth of the goal. I was sure that the ball would end up in the net but the Coffee goalie saved it. It was a fantastic last minute scoring opportunity but we missed it,” Aboutrika said after the game.

The entire Egyptian players were happy with the result. “We played for a win. We had three or four clear scoring opportunities and despite the goalless draw it is now advantage to us,” Mohamed Barakat said.
Coffee’s goalkeeper Zakariyas Oniyango and defender Daniel Derbe denied Ahly on several times. At the other end Coffee missed a good chance in the dying minute from goal mouth melee.   Coffee’s striker Tafesse Tesfaye admitted that Ahly played offensive football. “It was very disappointing that we didn’t live up to the expectations. We didn’t even make dangerous attacks. They really were fast and had the full control of the match with their short passing game. Their man-to-man play effectively worked because we didn’t get space to penetrate their defense zone,” Tesfaye said.

Striker Tesfaye expects a better result in the return match despite the difficulty. “We are not losing hope before the return match. They played well in the first leg but they were not able to score. We may play better and score in Cairo,” Tesfaye added.
The hard fact is that no Ethiopian team, the national side or club has won in Egypt in the last 40 or so years. Tesfaye said that it is possible to change this statistic. Meanwhile Barakat was sure that his side will win in Cairo. “We were very close to score in this match. But definitely we will score in the second leg.

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