Al-Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane believes that the expulsion of Esperance defender Elias Shetty was a turning point in the two teams’ match.
Al-Ahly qualified for the final of the African Champions League after defeating Tunisias Esperance in the semi-final second leg, with three goals without a response. (see details)
Mosimane said after the match in the press conference: “Esperance was the best at the beginning of the match, but in football it is not important that I only start well, and the most important thing is how it ends in the match.”
He added, “The expulsion was the moment the match turned, but it was deserved, and the beginning of the match made a wrong impression and Esperance thought that it would win, but I told the players about this scenario on the night of the match.”
And he continued, “Praise be to God for scoring the penalty kick and the fact that the expulsion helped us. We dominated the first leg before we won the return, and the video is important and played a big role in an alternative to what happened in the penalty kick and Al-Shahat’s goal. Without the video, the referee will not count them.”
He continued, “Esperance is a good team, but by scoring goals, especially the second goal, we killed the match and dominated the game.”
“Of course, I have good feelings after reaching the final for the second season in a row, but the truth is that we expected this scenario.”
He stressed, “We defeated the biggest teams in Africa during the tournament, but we are a strong team capable of winning. We defeated Sundowns by two goals, Wydad by five and Esperance by three, and thank God for these results.”
And he sent a message to the audience, saying: “My message to Al-Ahly fans is that he is the 12th player and I ask them to be patient. We have not yet reached the strongest and best level, but we can do that with the passage of time.”
He explained, “I do not control the summoning of Al-Ahly players to the Olympic team, and the Olympics coincided with the African final, and I have no information about what will happen in this matter.”
And about the match, he said: “Diang, Afsha and Sharif switched in order to comfort them and give the opportunity to players like Walid Suleiman, Shahat and Kahraba.”
He stressed, “We do not have Trika and Barakat and these are the big names that Manuel Jose owned, and this generation is different and new, and we are much less than them, but every championship we achieve earns us confidence, but there is no comparison with the great golden generation.”
“I’ve only been here for 8 months and I still need time and the team will play better football and I’ll show you a ball like Sundowns used to play, lots of passes and what the fans love.”
He continued, “I hope to repeat the ten titles that I achieved with Sundowns in Al-Ahly.”
Facing Kaizer Chiefs
Musimani went on to talk about Al-Ahly’s competitor in the African final, saying: “Kaizer Chiefs is a mysterious team, and despite occupying a late position in the South African league, it qualified for the African final and it is difficult to find a definition for them because they score a lot of goals and receive a lot of goals.”
“Studying the Kaizer Chiefs will be difficult, unlike teams like the Orlando Pirates and Sundowns,” he explained.
“On one occasion, the Kaizer Chiefs lost from a second division team in South Africa and then beat Sundowns in the next match,” he revealed.
“The Kaizer Chiefs are a strong team and one of the biggest teams in South Africa is also bigger than the Sundowns, but the Sundowns’ victories in the last 10 years are the reason why it has shone from the most popular team in South Africa, which is the Kaise Chiefs.”