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CS Constantine score last-minute equaliser to dent Ismaily’s CL hopes


Ismaily’s hopes of reaching quarter-finals suffered a major blow after conceding a last-minute equaliser against Algeria’s .

The Ismailia-based side opened their group with a 2-0 away loss to Congolese giants TP Mazembe, which was followed by a surprise 2-1 home defeat to Club African.

They were then disqualified from the competition following the fans’ riot in their club’s clash with the Tunisian side, however, the CAF decided to overturn their decision.

Ismaily’s first game back in the competition saw them hosting Algeria’s CS Constantine at Borg El-Arab, with the home side really needing the win to keep their bid to qualify from the group-stages alive.

As expected, Ismaily dominated the early minutes of the game as they were searching for an early goal, however, they failed to create any clear-cut chances until the 18th minute, when Wagih Abdel-Hakim’s volley went wide of the post.

In the 38th minute, Abdel-Hakim had another huge chance to open the scoring for Ismaily, when he received a low cross from Karim Bambo, but his shot went wide of the goal.

The second-half started really slow as the Algerian side looked more organized defensively as they wanted to leave Alexandria with a point.

After a dull 69 minutes, the hosts finally broke the deadlock after Benson Shilongo controlled Abdelrahman Magdi’s pass brilliantly, before finding the back of the net with a powerful shot.

Two minutes later, Ismaily nearly doubled their lead through Shilongo, who once again received a pass from Magdi, but this time the Namibian’s shot went over the bar.

In the 88th minute, Ismaily had another chance to kill off the tie when Karim Bambo went through on goal, before slowing down and sending his ball inches wide of the post.

The Egyptians had looked like securing the full three points, however, in the dying moments of the game, the Algerian side severely punished Ismaily with a last-minute equaliser after Emad Hamdi scored an own goal, converting Houcine Benayada’s cross.

Following the draw, Ismaily’s chances of reaching the quarter-finals look bleak as they currently sit bottom of the group with only one point.

On the other hand, CS Constantine sit top of the group with seven points, ahead of TP Mazembe on goal difference, while Club Africain sit third with four points.

Ismaily will travel to Algeria to face CS Constantine once again next week, with the Egyptian side needing to win their remaining three games to have any chance of qualifying from their group.

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