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14 minutes added on
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 16 - 05 - 2019

Ahly secured a 1-0 victory in a very tough game on Saturday against Smouha and their head coach Hossam Hassan, grabbing three more valuable points in the race for the Egyptian League of which they are the title holders.
When Martin Lasarte's starting players could not get the job done, the perfect sub Geraldo Da Costa scored a screamer in the 98th minute of the game which led to chaos on the pitch, with Smouha's players and coaching staff protesting against the inordinate lengthy extra time. The game eventually hit the 104-minute mark, with 14 minutes tacked on.
Hassan and his assistants yelled at the referees as they claimed that the additional minutes added on were way too much. “I blame Ahly fans for insulting me during the game,” Hassan, a former Ahly star, said at the post match press conference. “This league won't get any better in the years ahead because of those referees,” he added. Smouha's Chairman Farag Amer tweeted on his official account: “What happened to us can't be fair.”
The vast majority of football analysts and retired referees said that the additional time was correct as Smouha players wasted more than eight minutes in the second half.
After the win, Ahly, voted the African Club of the Century, retained their position on top of the league table with 70 points from 30 games ahead of their clash against ENPPI next week.
However, their arch-rivals Zamalek are not willing to give up the title race easily. Zamalek secured a hard-fought win Sunday against Dakhliya 2-1. Zamalek are in second with 66 points from 29 games.
They are juggling their matches, having reached the African Confederation Cup final against Moroccan side RSB Berkane.
Also, it was confirmed that Zamalek's game against Al-Entag Al-Harbi will be postponed until further notice.
The newly born club Pyramids are in third position with 65 points from 31 games which will lead them to a spot in the African Confederations Championship next season. After they beat Ahly and Zamalek in less than a week, Pyramids lost ground when they lost four important points in two successive matches against Masr Al-Maqasa and Masri. Not helping their cause, Pyramids have drawn 11 games this season.
In the relegation zone, Nojoum and Dakhliya are officially going down to the second division. They will be joined by either Petrojet, Smouha, Haras Al-Hodoud, Wadi Degla or Al-Gouna.
Football analysts and journalists predict that the Cairo derby between Ahly and Zamalek will reveal the identity of the champion, but that is on hold. The Egyptian Premier League is set to be postponed next week, to be continued after the Africa Cup of Nations which Egypt is hosting.


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