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Pitso Defends His Players After Costly Mistakes

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has defended two of his players after their mistakes cost his side a victory in the Egyptian Premier League.

The ‘Club of the Century’ returned to domestic football for a first time since 10 May on Thursday night but dropped points in a 2-2 draw against Pyramids.

Al Ahly looked on track to collect three points after Pyramids had a player sent off before half-time, but they still conceded two goals against 10 men, who netted the 2-2 equaliser in injury time following a howler by Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.

In addition, Ali Maaloul also missed a penalty, but Mosimane did not want to blame his players and insisted the team must stick together.

“We played 10 against 11 against Esperance, but tonight we could not control the game. You have to accept and move on. Football gives you lessons and this happens to big teams,” he said after the match.

“We were very unlucky in two moments tonight. Maaloul missed a penalty and our captain made a big mistake. Unlike last week, as I saw them shine.

“I don’t want us to blame each other. Last week we were happy and tonight we are sad. We need a good spirit, honesty, trust and togetherness to move on. I saw the same mistakes happen in the European Championship and we also saw a big player missing a penalty and the whole nation collapsed, but we must move on.

“I got Egypt’s number one goalkeeper. Tonight you blame Shenawy? No, I stay with my goalkeeper. I stay loyal to El Shenawy who saved us many times. El Shenawy is number one.

“I’m not here to comment about Pyramids, I am here to talk about my team. If Taher scored the two chances he got, it could’ve been a different story. If Maaloul scored, it could’ve been a different story; but football does not work that way.”

Al Ahly now sit 19 points behind leaders Zamalek but have seven games in hand. If they would win all catch-up games they would move two points above their bitter rivals on the log.