Hassan strikes winner as Al Ahli clinch Cairo derby
Egypt captain Ahmed Hassan made a dream return home to Cairo on Sunday, scoring a stunning winning goal as Al Ahli beat Zamalek 2-1 in the African Champions League.
Hassan, making his debut for the Cairo giants after signing from Belgium’s Anderlecht, drilled home a free kick from the edge of the penalty area in the 67th minute to ensure an Al Ahli win in their opening Group A game. Hassan chose Al Ahli over Zamalek in a ferocious bidding war earlier this year and made a strong impression in the derby.
Al Ahli had taken a 28th-minute lead when Angolan Gilberto dispossessed Mohamed Abdallah to provide a cross for his compatriot Flavio to convert.
But Zamalek snatched an equaliser in the 63rd minute when a snap effort from Gamal Hamza caught out the Red Devils defence.
“I warned my players before that it would be a game decided in favour of the team that makes the least mistakes,” said Zamalek’s new German coach Reiner Hollmann, who 10 years ago was coach of an all-conquering Ahli side.
Hassan, who led Egypt to the African Nations Cup title earlier this year, said he was thrilled with the debut goal.
“It feels good to be back home,” he told reporters.
His teammate Emad Moteab was carried shoulder high from the pitch at the end of his final game before going to Bristol City in England. But Zamalek debutant Junior Agogo had few chances in his first match since a move from Nottingham Forest, and was taken off for the final 15 minutes. Al Ahli’s win sees them tie at the top the standings in group A along with Dynamos of Zimbabwe, who won 2-1 earlier on Sunday at home in Harare against ASEC Abidjan of Côte d’Ivoire. There were wins in Group B earlier on the weekend for Cameroon’s Coton Sport and Al Hilal of Sudan. - Reuters