We played a very good game both physically and technically. We studied Esperance well and the players did what I told them to do. To start the group stage with a victory like this gives us confidence to defend our title in style. I have to praise my players, especially Abdalla Said who was awesome today. He is an exceptional player. I don’t think of my future, I just want to serve my club and think of the coming games.
Abdalla Said (Midfielder, Ahly)
We deserved to win because we were focused from the start till the very end. I was lucky to score twice; credit goes to God who helped me and my teammates. We have numerous absentees via injuries and suspensions but Ahly always plays to win without excuses. After Hossam Ashour’s sending off, the game was a bit complicated, but our character helped us to score yet another goal.
We didn’t expect to lose this way. Ahly was the better side and deserved to win. They play regularly while we are in the post season period and this affected us. The early goal opened the game for them and they made good use of their chances. We will start preparing for the next games.