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Ducor Sports Star of the Week

Spotlight on Al Ahly’s Walid Soliman

Alot happened this week but a certain Walid Soliman catches our fancy, gently fitting criteria for our star of the week.

Walid Soliman continued his fine scoring form with a second half goal that guided Al Ahly to CAF Champions League final despite 2-1 loss to Entente Setif of Algeria semi-final second leg on Tuesday.

The Red Devils won the first leg 2-0 two weeks ago which gave them a comfortable platform for the return match but they were shaken by a dramatic comeback from ES Setif.

For the better part of the opening half, Al Ahly were under siege. The home side had found free leeway down the left, but there was a glimmer of hope for the Egyptians.

Saliman had two half chances on volley in the first half. His attempts were either blocked or deflected for corner.

The veteran midfielder finally broke the deadlock in 61 minutes at the May Eight Stadium but Ismail Bakri levelled for the home side six minutes later.

Setif extended their lead in 71st minute through Abdelmoumene Djabou.

The Black Angels looked for third goal in the last few minutes, but the match finished 2-1, but it was Red Devils who advanced 3-2 on aggregate.

It was their first loss in seven matches for eight-time winners Al Ahly since French coach Patrice Carteron took over this year.

What do we know about Walid Soliman?

Soliman’s professional career started with Haras El-Hodood in 2004, before moving to Egypt’s second tier side El-Gouna the following year.

On his first season at Goun, he helped the club finish top of their group, but failed to achieve promotion to the Egyptian Premier League after losing in the final stage of qualifying that season.

He signed for Petrojet in 2006 where he spent four years, featuring in 70 games for them and scoring 19 goals.

In January 2009, Soliman moved to Al Ahli Jeddah on a six-month loan. He only featured in six games for them due to various injuries, but did manage to score once for the Saudi side.

In 2010, he came back home and joined ENPPI and finally moved to his current club, Al Ahly, the following season.

Soliman was at the core of Al Ahly’s successful back-to back Africa Champions League campaigns.

He was handed his international debut by Hassan Shehata against Sudan on November 16, 2007. Three years and 9 caps later, Soliman scored his first international goal against Qatar.

Soliman’s Style of Play

Soliman’s natural talent seems to be accelerating consistently. According to Egyptian portal King Fut, he is a player who always loves to take on an opponents with his trickery and immense pace, and is also gifted with great vision used to deliver some well-crafted assists.

Being left-footed, Walid often features on the left of the midfield for Al Ahly, and is much more effective from this position handing nightmares to full-backs.

He loves to hug the by-line, providing service to strikers just as his marker thinks he’s gone out of play. However, Walid needs to work on his stamina and physique, but his skill overshadows his flaws.

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