Friday,26 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1339, (6 - 12 April 2017)
Friday,26 April, 2019
Issue 1339, (6 - 12 April 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Dream debut

Coulibaly stars for Ahly as Semouha stun Zamalek

Ivorian striker Souliman Coulibaly led league leaders Ahly to an emphatic 4-0 over Al-Dakhlia as Semouha stunned Zamalek to all but end the White Knights’ hopes of winning the domestic football league title this season.

Star of the week Coulibaly made his debut for his new club as he came on in the second half and enjoyed a dream debut, scoring a brace and causing all sorts of problems for the opponents’ defence. However, until the 60th minute the league leaders missed chance after chance and couldn’t find that first goal that would open the floodgates against a team fighting against relegation.

Birthday boy Saad Samir managed to open the scoring in the 60th minute with a powerful, long-range shot much to the delight of the player who celebrated wildly with his teammates as if they knew this goal would be the start of a demolition job. The second goal came from Walid Suleiman in the 70th minute, only eight minutes after coming on, and it was a beauty. A free kick from the edge of the box saw the left-footed playmaker score the second goal for his club and kill any hopes Al-Dakhlia entertained of leaving the game with anything. Fellow substitute Coulibaly who came on earlier in place of Al-Solia found the back of the net for the first time for his new club in the 79th minute when he met a delightful cross from Abdullah Al-Said with his head to slot home the third for his team on the night and the first of two goals.

The second for Coulibaly and fourth for Ahly came in the very last minute from a cross from Sabri Rahil that saw the Ivorian star finish emphatically to announce the arrival of a star striker in the Egyptian league.

Later in the day Semouha stunned Zamalek to end any hopes of them winning the title this season as the gap between Zamalek and Ahly is now a massive 15 points with Zamalek having a game in hand.

Two first half goals from Ahmed Hassan Mekki in the 35th minute and Ahmed Nabil in the 45th minute put the hosts in control with Zamalek having no answers in the second half to lose another game and ground in the title race.

The surprise package of this season Maqassa took full advantage of Zamalek’s loss as the star of the season Ahmed Al-Sheikh scored yet another brace to lead his team to a 3-2 win over Ismaili to ensure his team stayed in second and cemented their place as the main rival for Ahly this season. They’re now second with 51 points from 22 games with Ahly sitting top with 55 points from 21 games. Masri stayed in third place after they defeated Enppi 2-0 while Semouha moved to fourth, leaving Zamalek in fifth on goal difference.

It goes without saying that Mortada Mansour stole the headlines after his team suffered another defeat. The controversial Zamalek club president fired Mohamed Helmi and his staff on the spot after the loss and slammed them in public, declaring that his team “played as if they don’t have a coach”. Will Mansour find a way to persuade an Egyptian coach to lead his team or will he opt for a foreign manager? Rumours and recent reports say that he wants former striker Abdel-Halim Ali and former coach Mohamed Salah as part of the staff but only Salah has accepted. Ali does not appear he can do a good job in the current circumstances but the club is still hoping it can persuade him to be part of the staff.

The coming few days will be vital for the Egyptian giants as they are still searching for stability and the healthy environment that can help anyone working there succeed after the current season went with the wind.

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