CAIRO: More than 68,000 football fans gave the Ahly club a raucous welcome as football superstars Mohamed Aboutrika, Flavio, Ahmed Adel, Mohamed Shawki and Emad Meteb took to the field in their matchup with FC Barcelona.
But Barca s coach Frank Rijkaard disappointed fans by choosing to hold back Brazilian football whiz Ronaldinho, African tiger Samuel Eto o and Argentinean Lionel Messi until the second half.
Ahly s Manuel Jose, however, chose an offensive posture relying on a three-prong approach involving Meteb, Flavio and Aboutrika. Mohamed Barakat was missing from the line-up reportedly due to an injury sustained during training.
Javier Saviola opened the scoring salvo in the 16th minute with a flimsy header and this was followed by a fair goal in the 25th.
During the second half, an Ahly defense error gave Eto’o the break he needed to score Barca’s third goal for the night. Eto’o scored again in extra time to drop the Reds 0-4
The football friendly comes as part of the country s commemoration of Ahly s 100th anniversary.
The last time the two champions clashed was in 1961 when the Spaniards punished the Egyptian reds 6-1 in Cairo.