Al-Ahly reclaims Premier League title

Egyptian giants Al Ahly regained the Egyptian Premier League title officially on Sunday night with a 1-1 draw against Alexandria’s Al Ittihad.

It is their record-extending 38th Egyptian championship, a return to the domestic top for the club after surrendering the title to fierce Cairo rivals Zamalek last season. That runners-up finish broke a string of eight successive titles for Ahly, dating back a decade to 2005 (there were no title winners in 2012 or 2013 as the uprisings against Hosni Mubarak and then Mohamed Morsi ended both campaigns).

Ahly looked well on their way toward returning the Egyptian title to their trophy cabinet this season before a slight slump in form the past couple months that saw them lose twice in their last five league matches to postpone their coronation to Sunday night’s penultimate match.

They were already effective champions, with a six-point edge on second-placed Zamalek with two to play and huge edge in goal difference. But the point from the draw made things official.

Ittihad, one of Egypt’s bigger clubs, has been mired in a disappointing campaign this year, at 13th in the table.

Martin Jol-managed Ahly, now, will look to see if they can revive their flagging African Champions League hopes. The club own a record eight Champions League titles, but have lost both their opening matches to the four-team, group-style quarter-final stage.

 

Aisha JM