Late Ekramy heroics seal crucial win for Ahly over Maqassa
A Sherif Ekramy penalty save in the dying seconds of the match saw Al Ahly clinch a vital 1-0 win over Misr El-Maqassa, to open up a seven-point cushion at the top of the table.
Following a 1-1 draw with Petrojet in midweek, Misr El-Maqassa were eager to get a positive result against the Red Devils, as they looked to keep their title hopes alive.
Nevertheless, it was the reigning champions who took the lead in the 22nd minute; a contentious penalty was called by referee Mohamed Nour El-Din, and Abdallah El-Said made no mistake from 12 yards to put his side in front.
Ahly loanee Ahmed El-Sheikh tested Sherif Ekramy just past the half-hour mark, but the goalkeeper was equal to the effort.
Maqassa almost equalised immediately after the half-time break, but Nana Poku failed to take the chance, as Al Ahly maintained their clean sheet.
Marwan Mohsen twice came close to doubling the hosts’ lead midway through the second interval, but failed to make the most of his opportunities.
With five minutes to go, Maqassa were reduced to ten men after Hussein El-Shahat received his second yellow card, with the latter one coming after he was adjudged to have dived inside the opponents’ penalty area.
Junior Ajayi missed a huge chance to seal the three points in the second minute of added time, before the visitors won a penalty immediately afterwards through Ahmed El-Sheikh.
However, the 24-year-old crumbled under the pressure and placed the spot-kick poorly, allowing Ekramy to sweep the hero tag on the night and seal a crucial win over their title rivals.
Al Ahly now sit seven points clear of Misr El-Maqassa at the top of the 2016/17 Egyptian Premier League table, although the latter side have a match in hand against Zamalek.
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