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Dubai - Yasmine El Tohamy - Al Ahly assistant coach, Cavin Johnson, said that he doesn’t understand how people can criticize their performance against Bayern Munich.
The Red Devils represented Africa in the continental competition. They started their ambitious journey with a 1-0 victory over Al-Duhail to reach the semi-finals against European giants Bayern Munich.
Two Robert Lewandowski goals sent them to a contest for the third place against Brazilian side Palmeiras, one that saw them win over penalties after a 0-0 draw, repeating the feat for the first time since 2006.
Talking to OnTime Sports TV about their journey in the tournament, Johnson explained how Pitso Mosimane prepared the players mentally.
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“The most difficult moments were before the Club World Cup. We played two matches and drew in one of them,” he said.
“But the presence of a leader like Mosimane is the one who prepared the players mentally for the tournament.
“Before the tournament, we were also afraid that one of the players would test positive for coronavirus, but Mosimane’s instructions helped the players pass that stage.
“We all knew at Al Ahly that the most important thing was to get past Al-Duhail. Once we passed them, we started preparing mentally for the Bayern Munich match,” he continued.
Despite the impressive feat, many have criticized the Red Devils for their underwhelming performances, especially against Bayern Munich.
“In the Bayern match we were not required to be the best. We thought that we were two teams and we would fight on the field and we did not think about the physical and tactical matters,” Johnson explains.
“We were satisfied with the performance during the match, and we were unlucky in the first goal.”
“I do not know or understand where the accusations of us not being brave comes from.
“We were brave in the tournament and if we look, we will find that we played a big match against Bayern Munich.
“And players like Mohamed Hany, Ayman Ashraf and Badr Banoun were the stars ofthat match.
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“In the end, we conceded two goals, while teams like Barcelona lost by eight,” he added.
Johnson then commented on their win over Palmeiras and how they prepared for the penalty shootouts.
“We trained on penalty kicks a lot before the tournament and during the tournament,” he stated.
“We saw how the players of Al Duhail, Bayern Munich and Palmeiras took the penalty kicks, and we were ready if we reached for this stage.
“We had already determined the order of the players according to their formin training.
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“We were also confident, having Mohamed El-Shennawy, the best goalkeeper in Africa.”
“We wanted to put Ali Maaloul in before the penalty shootout, but the ball did not go out and this was a divine act. The referee did not do anything about it,” he concluded.
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