JUNIOR AJAYI’S GOAL RETURNS AL-AHLY BACK TO WINNING WAYS

JUNIOR AJAYI’S GOAL RETURNS AL-AHLY BACK TO WINNING WAYS
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Nigeria’s Junior Ajayi scored in impressive fashion in the 73rd minute as Egyptian league champions, Al-Ahly eased to a 3-0 victory over lowly FC Masr on Wednesday as the club returned to winning ways after two straight draws in the Egyptian Premier League.

Ajayi’s goal was the talking point as he netted from almost the halfway line with a first-time effort after the keeper rushed out to poorly clear a long ball before being caught off position

Ahly’s Swiss coach, Rene Weiler had to make some changes in his squad to achieve result. According to Egyptian newspaper, Ahram, the Swiss was criticized by some pundits for sticking with his ideal starting line-up even after Ahly wrapped up the title with six rounds left last week.

But with an African Champions League semi-final against Morocco’s Wydad looming, Weiler opted to rest some regulars against FC Masr, including defensive midfielder Hamdi Fathi, playmaker Magdi Afsha and Angolan winger Geraldo.

Ahly needed six minutes to open the scoring, with central midfielder Amr El-Sulaya converting a penalty after veteran winger Walid Soliman was tripped by the keeper.

FC Masr had a chance to equalise early in the second half when they were awarded a penalty for a handball on El-Sulaya, but Mostafa Sultan’s tame effort was saved by in-form keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi.

Mahmoud Kahraba, who made a rare start, doubled Ahly’s lead in the 57th minute when a miscued shot from Nigerian winger Junior Ajayi found him to slot home from close range.

Ahly have 76 points from 29 games while FC Masr look destined for relegation as they lie second from bottom with 20 points, eight adrift of safety.