VIDEO: Al Ahly cement top spot with win over Smouha
The Red Devils currently top the league standings with 56 points, 14 clear of second-placed Zamalek who will face Haras El-Hodood later on Tuesday.
Al Ahly XI: Sherif Ekramy; Ahmed Fathi, Ahmed Hegazy, Rami Rabia, Sabry Rahil; Hossam Ashour, Hossam Ghaly; Walid Soliman, Abdallah El-Said, Momen Zakaria; Malick Evouna.
Smouha XI: Mahdy Soliman; Ayman Ashraf, Omar Saad, Manso Kwaku, Mahmoud Ezzat; Ahmed Homos, Ahmed Nabil ‘Manga’, Islam Moharb, Amr El-Monoufy, Mahmoud Said; Hossam Paolo.
Both teams exchanged control over the game during the first 20 minutes, with a slight advantage for Smouha who had more possession of the ball but without any danger on Al Ahly’s goal.
Smouha managed to translate their control as they opened the scoring in the 24th minute. A long throw-in into Al Ahly’s penalty area was headed by Hossam Paolo to Islam Mohareb on the right, who smashed the ball into Ekramy’s net with a brilliant bicycle kick.
Only five minutes later, Smouha missed a chance to double their lead. A cross from Omar Saad on the left side found the unmarked Islam Paolo, whose powerful header hit the bar before it was cleared by Al Ahly defense.
Thirty minutes into the game, Al Ahly started to gain some control as they tried to break through Smouha’s defense. The pressure paid off as they managed to score an equaliser in the 35th minute. Evouna beat Smouha defender Ayman Ashraf before dribbling past Mahmoud Ezzat. The Gabonese striker then passed to Abdallah El-Said who tapped into the empty net.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Mahmoud Sayed cut inside before his brilliant pass behind Al Ahly defenders found Hossam Paolo, but the league’s top scorer close-range shot was saved by Ekramy.
Al Ahly responded seven minutes later as Evouna received a through pass from Walid Soliman but his chip shot was saved by Mahdy Sloiman.
Two minutes later, Al Ahly were awarded a penalty after a foul by Ayman Ashraf on Evouna, with the former Al Ahly player receiving a yellow card. El-Said stepped up to complete his brace and give his side the lead.
Al Ahly continued their control over the game and managed to seal their victory with a third goal in the 78th minute. Momen Zakaria escaped behind Smouha’s defenders to control Walid Soliman’s deflected pass, before he finished with one touch.
Eight minutes to full time, Al Ahly had the chance to score a fourth goal as they were awarded a free-kick from the edge of the box after a foul on Evouna. Ahmed Fathi stepped up for it, but his powerful shot was saved by Soliman.
In the dying minutes of the game, Martin Jol brought on Amr El-Sulaya to replace Hossam Ghaly, while Saleh Gomaa came on instead of Abdallah El-Said.
Smouha had their attempts in the final minutes of the game, but they failed to pull a goal back as the game ended 3-1 for Al Ahly.
The Red Castle’s upcoming match in the league will be on May 4 against Haras El-Hodood, who are battling to avoid relegation.
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