Pitso – What I Told Al Ahly Players After Teargas Drama
Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has revealed what he told his players after the teargas incident that happened ahead of his side’s CAF Champions League semi-final victory at Esperance.
The game had to be delayed after police shot teargas inside the stadium to control unruly home fans.
The gas had made it difficult to breathe for the players of both teams, with South African match official Victor Gomes delaying the kick-off by one hour.
Mosimane admitted the incidents disturbed his side’s preparations but praised his players for how they reacted.
“We understand these things, and they do happen, but Al Ahly and Esperance have the experience needed to deal with these situations,” he said after the game.
“I asked the players to calm down, because their role is to play football.
“We spoke with the players before the match to motivate them, but after what happened we had to renew their motives again, and this happened with the help of Mohamed El-Shennawy, Saad Samir, and Sayed Abdel-Hafiz.
“The most difficult thing is that we had a plan for the match, and then everything went down. El Shenawy, Saad, and Captain Sayed kept the team’s spirit up and told the players that we must not lose concentration.”
Al Ahly forward Mohamed Sherif scored the only goal of the night, handing his side a crucial away victory.
Mosimane, though, insisted that his side still have an important second leg to play before they can celebrate reaching back-to-back CAFCL finals.
“It is always tough to play against teams like Esperance but we respected them and their coaching staff and this respect was shown in our performance tonight,” he added.
“It is normal for Esperance to have an attacking game as they were playing at home in front of their fans.
“They wanted to achieve a positive result, but we were well-organized and managed to achieve an important victory. However, we still need to secure our qualification in the second leg.”