CAIRO: Manuel Jose blamed external forces for Ahly s failure to put in a convincing display against ASEC Mimosas in the Champions League on Saturday.
The Egyptian champions were lucky to escape with a goalless draw, having been outplayed by their Ivorian opponents throughout the game.
Ahly players peace of mind was disturbed after a tiring journey to Abidjan. It took them 24 hours to arrive in Ivory Coast s largest city.
To rub salt into the wounds, Ahly found out that they will face ASEC on an artificial turf as Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny was being renovated.
Coach Jose is adamant Ahly would have played better if they didn t face those difficulties.
Our exhausting trip to Abidjan made the match difficult for us, the Portuguese boss was quoted as saying by the club s official website.
We could have played much better than we did but it was even harder to play on an artificial turf.
However, although I hoped my team would get a win today, a draw is not bad.
We will be looking forward now to our next Champions League encounter against Dynamos Harare, he added.