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Al Ahly salvage a point against Group A leaders Smouha
A goal from Abdallah El-Said saw Al Ahly move back into a Group A semi-final spot on goal difference after salvaging a point against leaders Smouha.
Al Ahly XI: Sherif Ekramy; Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Mohamed Naguib, Sayed Moawad; Rami Rabia, ‘Trezeguet’, Hossam Ashour, Abdallah El-Said, Moussa Yedan; Amr Gamal.
Smouha XI: Amir Abdel-Hamid; Ayman Ashraf, Ahmed Said ‘Okka’, Sherif Hazem, El-Sayed Farid; Ibrahim Abdel-Khalek, Ahmed Hamoudi, Tarek Hamed, Alaa Ali; Wahid Mohsen, Hany El Egeizy.
The top-of-the-table clash started in a very conservative manner as both sides tried to retain possession in the earlier minutes. Six minutes in, Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ pulled the trigger with a very strong shot that Amir Abdel-Hamid, Al Ahly’s former goalkeeper, had to go in full stretch to turn it round his goal.
The next 3o minutes were of the same pace, with Al Ahly controlling possession while only threatening from outside the box, while Smouha were happy to sit back and hit the Cairo giants on the counter.
On the 37th minute, former Ahly striker Hany El Egeizy hit a very strong shot that Ekramy saved, only for Hamoudi to pounce for the follow and tap in the first goal of the evening.
The first half finished with the group leaders leading 1-0, with Egypt centre-backs Rami Rabia and Ahmed Said ‘Okka’ getting yellow cards in the last 5 minutes.
The second half started with Al Ahly going on the attack in the pursuit of getting their equalizer. On the 60th minute, Trezeguet launched another fierce shot that Amir Abdel-Hamid managed to once again successfully parry away.
Fathi Mabrouk, Al Ahly’s interim manager, sent Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ on for Moussa Yedan to enforce his attacking options in a bid for scoring the equalizer. However, the equalizer came from the team’s top scorer, Abdallah El-Said, on the 72nd minute mark after his right foot curler bounced in front on Abdel-Hamid and ended up in his net.
On the 77th minute, El Egeizy sent a beautifully weighted free-kick that only managed to hit the right post.
With this result, Smouha remain first in Group A while Al Ahly leapfrog over Ittihad of Alexandria into second place on goal difference.