Thursday Feb 14, 2019. 12:00
Al Ahly coach Martin Lasart has blamed his side’s shock 1-0 loss to Simba SC on the heat and humidity in Dar es Salaam.
Ahly slumped to the defeat in their CAF Champions League Group D match in midweek, with Simba’s Meddie Kagere netting the only goal of the game at the National Stadium.
The Red Devils had beaten the Lions 5-0 in the teams’ first meeting 10 days prior, making the loss even more of an upset.
"We played in a very hot weather and insupportable humidity," Lasarte told the post-match news conference.
"The bad weather, especially in the second half, affected the players, who appeared very exhausted."
He added, "I played with three central midfielders to avoid fatigue."
The Uruguayan coach also criticised Simba players for time-wasting: "They deliberately kept tumbling to the ground 15 times to waste time.”
Despite the setback, Ahly remain top of Group D and Lasart believes they will reach the quarterfinals.
"Ahly always look forward. Our target is to win in our next two games and advance to the next round to achieve our ultimate target and win the trophy,” he explained.
The Egyptians will next face DR Congo giants AS Vita in Kinshasa on 8 March before hosting JS Saoura of Algeria eight days later in their final group-stage game.