Al Ahli draw but make sure of top place in group

Egypt’s Al Ahli made sure of top place in their African Champions League group but had to come from behind to draw 2-2 with arch rivals Zamalek in the Cairo derby on Sunday.

Egypt international Mohamed Aboutrika grabbed a 70th minute equaliser after Zamalek had forged ahead early in the second half.

The draw moved Al Ahli to 11 points, out of reach at the top of Group A and guarantees home advantage in the second leg of next month’s semifinal.

The result also keeps alive Zamalek’s hopes of advancing to the final four, although they will have to win away at Dynamos of Zimbabwe in Harare next Sunday to have any chance.

Zamalek, seeking to win only for the second time in their last 15 derbies against their bitter rivals, went a goal down after just eight minutes when the Angolan duo of Gilberto and Flavio combined to give Al Ahli the lead.

Flavio stormed through to head home a chipped free kick but with five minutes left in the half, Gamal Hamza equalised after an initial effort from fullback Osama Hassan was foiled.

Ghana import Junior Agogo, recently signed from Nottingham Forest, then put Zamalek in the lead with an angled shot six minutes into the second half.

Al Ahli fought back for the draw to keep their unbeaten run in this year’s competition intact.

Earlier on Sunday, TP Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo went from bottom of Group B to top place after beating Cameroon’s Coton Sport 2-0 in Lubumbashi.

Tresor Mputu and Alain Kaluyitukadioko scored to leave both sides on seven points from five matches.

The scheduled Group B game between Enyimba of Nigeria and Sudan’s Al Hilal in Aba was delayed 24 hours because of a torrential storm in Nigeria.

Victory on Monday would lift either side to the top of the standings with one more round of matches to come next Saturday. - Reuters


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