Ahly ahead of the bunch

Tuesday 10 Jan 2023

Ahly vs Enppi

EGYPTIAN powerhouse football club Ahly are in the league lead at the start of 2023, ahead of a bunched up crowd of three other teams.

As of writing, 12 games had been played by each team. Ahly have a league-leading 30 points, four ahead of Future FC. In third place are defending champions Zamalek with 25 points. Fourth are Pyramids with 23. The Egyptian league has 18 teams in a 34 game schedule.

In December, Ahly held a four-point lead over second place Zamalek but then took a nosedive, winning just one out of their previous four games and drawing the other three.

But then it was Zamalek’s turn to slip up, losing surprisingly to mid-table Aswan 2-1 for their first defeat of the season, then tying 1-1 in the dying seconds against Dakhleya, who is second from the bottom.

At the same time Ahly, led by their first year Swiss coach Marcel Koller, returned to their winning ways, trouncing Pyramids, who finished second last season, 3-0, then easily defeating Enppi 2-0.

After the Ahly loss, Pyramids sacked their Greek coach Takis Gonias and marked the debut of new coach Jaime Pacheco with a 4-0 drubbing of Mahalla. Portuguese coach Pacheco is an ex-Zamalek boss.

Again over the weekend, Future leapfrogged Zamalek into second place following a 3-2 win over Ceramica Cleopatra.

Zamalek are trying to win the league for a third season in a row. Ahly seek to recapture the crown that has never eluded them for long. They have 42 league titles as opposed to 14 by Zamalek who are second on Egypt’s all-time list.

Ahly, who remain undefeated with nine wins and three draws, and eighth-place Masri of Port Said will play on Thursday 12 January.

A version of this article appears in print in the 12 January, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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