4 May 2013

Egypt/Tunisia: Ahly's Mohamed Youssef - We'll Play to Win

Egypt's Al Ahly current Orange CAF Champions League champions entertain Tunisia's CA Bizertin this Sunday at the Cairo's Air Defense Stadium in the continent's premier club championship's second round second leg. The first leg in Bizerte ended in a goalless draw a fortnight ago, with the aggregate winner set to qualify for the mini league stage. Ahly's assistant coach Mohamed Youssef told Cafonline.com that his side will enter the game with only one goal in mind; to win and continue their title defending mission.

"It's definitely going to be a very tough game", Youssef said before the Sunday much awaited match. "Both teams want to play in the group stage. CA Bizertin is a good team and they showed that in the first leg. But we go through this game with one goal in mind; to win and qualify for the group stage".

Al Ahly defeated Smouha 2-0 in the domestic league last Tuesday, and Youssef sees that as a moral boost for his charges before Bizertin game. "Beating Smouha raised the team's morale and elevated the spirit in our camp. We are now on top of our group in the Egyptian league with a game in hand, and that's a good situation for us. But we've turned our attention to Sunday's game and all the players are well motivated and focused to achieve the needed result", he added.

Youssef who played for Al Ahly and Egypt in the nineties considered his players ready for the match. "Every game has its different circumstances and requirements. The technical staff chooses the right players regarding what's needed from the match. Our players are ready, except for the injured Hossam Ghaly, Waleed Suleiman and Ramy Rabiaa who grabbed a knee injury against Smouha and will be out for a month. We will have his replacement ready for the game and we wish him speedy recovery. We play every four days and hence all the players must have high fitness levels so that they can cope with this pressure", he said.

Youssef added that Ahly had no time to rest as they prepared for Sunday's match, and he added "After the first leg we played a couple of games in the local league and won them both. We resumed our training sessions without having any rest preparing for CA Bizertin game. We'll go through a closed camp 48 hours before the game in order to increase our concentration levels".

Ahly's assistant coach said that his team has got accustomed to playing deprived from their supporters. "Definitely we would have liked to have our supporters in the stands for this crucial match, but we are used to that now. Last year we won the title after playing all our games except for the final behind closed doors. I hope our players could achieve the needed victory to qualify for the group stage", Youssef concluded.

Ahly against CA Bizertin is to be played behind closed doors at the Cairo Air Defense Stadium, with the aggregate winner qualifying to the mini league stage.

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