Koller satisfied with CR Belouizdad stalemate

Koller satisfied with CR Belouizdad stalemate
Marcel Koller Coach of Al Ahly

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Feb 18, 2024. 11:12

Al Ahly head coach Marcel Koller was content to come away from their CAF Champions League clash against CR Belouizdad with a 0-0 draw on Friday after a six-week hiatus.

The Group D match had to be rescheduled due to the Red Eagles’ involvement in the 2023 Club World Cup during the third week of December when all the continental games took place.

The stalemate at the Stade du 5 Juillet ensured that Koller’s side remained at the top of their group on six points, one ahead of the Reds and Young Africans with two fixtures left to play.

With the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations having recently concluded on February 11, many leagues on the continent only resumed action this week and Koller admitted his team weren’t nearly as well prepared as the Algerian champions, who didn’t have a break during the tournament in Ivory Coast.

“We haven’t reached optimal readiness because we haven’t played any matches for six weeks, and the international players arrived late from the Africa Cup of Nations,” the Swiss tactician said in the post-match press conference.

“In contrast, Belouizdad consistently plays in the Algerian league and they prepared better for today, their performance was better than ours.

“Belouizdad is excellent, they played elegant football, they’re fast and strong, and I was aware of that before the match, hence I’m good with today’s draw.

“We have two games left in the group, our goal is to win them and qualify at the top, but it won’t be easy, as we face a tough match against Medeama away next week.

“We don’t have official matches during this period, so we’ll try to prepare the team for the challenging encounter in the best possible way. The last match will be like a final and we’ll strive to qualify at the top as we used to.”

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