CAIRO: Ahly’s bid to avoid an embarrassing Champions League exit relies heavily on the presence of top scorer Emad Meteb, who now looks likely to recover from an injury in time to play against Libya’s Ittihad.
Ittihad’s surprising 2-0 home win over Ahly in the first leg of the competition’s round of 16 left the six-time African champions facing an uphill to climb if they are to secure a place in the group stage.
They were recently crowned Egyptian league champions for the sixth successive season but a possible Champions League exit might cut short their celebrations.
Ahly struggled to convert several clear-cut chances in the first leg, with Liberian striker Francis Doe unable to impress after replacing the injured Meteb, who is suffering from a back complaint.
Meteb, who scored nine goals in Ahly’s triumphant league campaign despite his injury problems, is on the road to recovery ahead of next week’s crucial second leg against Ittihad.
"He is in a good condition now," Ahly football director Hadi Khashaba said on the club’s official website on Sunday.
"He needs to do some physiotherapy exercises in the coming few days to be fully fit for the Ittihad clash."