South African winger Percy Tau nets another brace on Thursday as Ahly beat Smouha 4-1 to extend the team’s perfect start of the season to six games.
The 27-older winger, who joined Ahly in the summer from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion, moved to the lead of the Egyptian Premier League top scorers table with five goals in six games, sharing the top spot with Zamalek winger Ahmed ‘Zizo’ Sayed.
Tau netted in minutes 35 and 80, while Ayman Ashraf scored in minute 32, and Hussein El-Shahat scored in minute 68. Mohamed Metwalli scored Smouha’s consolation goal in the 66th minute.
Ahly are now leading the table with 18 points, five points ahead of second-placed Zamalek who beat Ceramica Cleopatra 1-0 on Thursday.
Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane made a couple of changes to his lineup, introducing Hussein El-Shahat and Ahmed Abdel-Kader to compensate for the absence of injured full-back Ali Maaloul and inspirational midfielder Amr El-Sulaya.
Ahly could have grabbed an early lead when Smouha defender Mahmoud Ezzat was penalized for handling the ball in the penalty area in the fourth minute. However Moroccan defender Badr Benoun hit the post from the spot.
After a dour opening quarter, the hosts gained control of the game after a few tactical changes.
El-Shahat, who made his first starting role of the season, fed an unmarked Ashraf in the area to score at the far post and break the deadlock in the 32nd minute.
Three minutes later Tau latched onto a long pass from Akram Tawfik to break the offside trap, brilliantly skip past the last defender and beat the keeper at the near post.
Smouha moved up the pitch after the interval in an attempt to get back in the game leaving a lot of spaces for Ahly’s frontmen.
El-Shahat’s chip ball was cleared from the goal line by Ragab Nabil and Tau barely missed the goal from inside six yards after meeting a fine cross from second-half substitute Mohamed Hani.
However, Mohamed ‘Canaria’ Metwalli pulled one back with a curling strike from outside the area in the 66th minute.
That was only for a couple of minutes as El-Shahat intercepted a poor clearance from defender Ezzat to strike home the third goal from inside the area.
Tau had a chance to increase the tally as he went clear on target and skipped past the keeper but failed to control the ball.
El-Shahat had also a penalty awarded after being tackled in the area but the decision was reversed by the VAR.
Tau completed the rout in the 80th minute after converting a low cross from Hani into the goal from close range.