Though Al Ahly squeezed through to the group stages courtesy of a 1-0 aggregate score in the CAF Champions League first round after winning in Cairo and then playing out a goalless draw at Bidvest Stadium, Gooma was full of praise for The Clever Boys.
“We played against a very strong team today,” says Gooma.
“We didn’t know that this is a good team with such a good field. We always know that South Africa has good teams Sundowns and Orlando (Pirates), every year we play against teams from here and we know how to play against teams from here. The first game in Egypt was difficult for us.
“The coach [Hossam El Badry] said before the game that this will be a difficult game. We watched their last game in the cup [against Cape Town All Stars] and the one that they lost against Sundowns. They are a good team with a good coach and I am delighted that we have qualified for the group stages and now focus is back on the league in Egypt where we are first,” says the 23-year-old midfielder.
With safe passage to the group stages, the mission for the eight-time champions is to ultimately win it again with some of the players that won it the last time in 2013 like Mohamed Aboutrika no longer with the club.
“This year we hope to make something because we have younger players that must make something happen for the club,” he notes.
Al-Ahly are yet to win in all their visits to South Africa having played against Wits, SuperSport United, Mamelodi Sundowns, Platinum Stars, Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates (twice).