Al Ahly coach Marcel Kohler insists his side can still reach the African Football League final despite losing 1-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns in Sunday’s semi-final first leg.
Thapelo Maseko’s second-half thunderbolt earned South Africa’s Sundowns victory in the opening encounter in Pretoria. But ahead of Wednesday’s return match in Cairo, Kohler remains confident Al Ahly can turn the tie around on home soil.
“We have a chance to qualify and I believe the Cairo match will decide everything,” the Swiss coach told reporters after the game, adding: “We will make every effort to win, especially since our fans will support us.”
Kohler believes Al Ahly performed creditably for large parts of the first leg before being undone by a lapse in concentration. “We played a good first half defensively but lacked calmness. In the second half we conceded after an error,” he explained.
With the tie delicately poised, Kohler knows Al Ahly must raise their game in the intimidating atmosphere of Cairo. But he is backing his players to find the breakthroughs needed to progress to the inaugural AFL decider.
“Sundowns are one of the best teams in Africa and always compete for titles,” Kohler said, adding: “We only have two days to prepare but we will do everything we can.”