Monday,23 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1235, (26 February - 4 March 2015)
Monday,23 July, 2018
Issue 1235, (26 February - 4 March 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Egyptians in the Euro zone

Salah and Al-Nenni shine in the two top European club football championships, reports Marawan Zayed

Al-Ahram Weekly

After a magnificent full debut from our Egyptian star and Fiorentina’s next big thing, as the Italian media called him, Mohamed Salah led the line along with Mario Gomez as Fiorentina travelled to London to face the in-form Tottenham Hotspur.

Salah has always enjoyed playing against the London side. He scored against them in the game at Basel and was man of the match during the 2-2 draw in London during his time with the Swiss club. This time Fiorentina met Tottenham in the first leg of round 32, and even though Salah couldn’t score, he had a great game and helped his team snatch a valuable 1-1 draw away from home.

Salah completed his first 90 minutes for his new club and was a constant threat throughout the game and could have scored twice but only magnificent last ditch defending from Vertonghen on both occasions prevented Salah from opening his European account with La Viola.

Fiorentina conceded a very early goal thanks to a sublime volley from Soldado in the sixth minute but kept their lines organised and focused and managed to score the vital equaliser 30 minutes later via Basanta who scored from close range after Loris saved earlier.

Spurs tried to find a winner for the remainder of the game as they pushed forward heavily, allowing Salah the desired space behind them, and the Egyptian star seemed a real threat every time he countered.

The result gives the edge to Fiorentina as a clean sheet in Italy in the second leg will guarantee them a place in the next round but let’s hope Salah will find the back of the net and open his European account for La Viola this week.

From the Europa League and Salah to the Champions League and Mohamed Al-Nenni who hosted Porto in the first leg of round 16 of this more elite European tournament. Basel, who used to have Salah and Al-Nenni together, started the game brilliantly and opened the score after just 11 minutes thanks to a magnificent strike from Derlis Gonzalez.

From that point the game was all red and blue — Basel’s kit colours — as they gained confidence and played some fantastic football for the remaining first half.

As usual, fan favourite Al-Nenni was at the heart of everything good happening in the game. The Egyptian star has been extraordinary this season so far and this game was no different as he was dictating the game the way he wants, especially in the first half when his team dominated.

However, in the second half Porto pushed forward in numbers and made things difficult for Basel’s defenders who ran out of energy towards the end of the game, conceding a penalty 10 minutes from time. Danilo scored from the spot kick to level the score for the Portuguese side who now go home with that vital away goal.

Al-Nenni will hope his attacking teammates will be able to find the back of the net in Porto as they have to score to have any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals. Can our Egyptian stars make it to the next round in their respective European tournaments to continue their Euro adventure?  This week we’ll know about Salah while we’ll have to wait a little longer to know about Al-Nenni as Basel face Porto on 10 March.

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