Scoring in the 51st and 73rd minutes of the game, Ahli sealed Auckland City FC’s fate in the opening salvo of the Fifa Cup World Cup 2006 at Toyota Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.
Despite rough play from the New Zealanders (four players were yellow carded – were they playing Aussie rules rugby or football?) our lads managed a clean sweep whenAhli let rip with Flavio Arnado, the Reds’ Angolan international, in the 51st minute.
Mohamed Abou Treika’s excellent free kick into the Auckland City net after being fouled by Chad Coombes in the 73rd minute all but ensured the outcome of the game.
Auckland City tried to mount several offensives in the final minutes of the game, leading the Reds to get a tad desperate and resorting to some rough play – rewarded with the second yellow card for Ahli.
Meanwhile, Cairo streets were ominously empty; the metro was free of the usual noonday congestion.
Inside the metro, passengers were more than spoiled for free seats.
“What happened? asked one commuter.
“It’s the Ahli game fil yaban (in Japan), another answered.
One couldn’t help but ponder where all the former commuters were watching the game and whether many a boss were now stomping their feet in frustration about their missing office staff.
One business manager in Maadi didn’t wait around for his staff – he never went to work today, instead he met friends at a popular sports café.