Egyptian side Ismaily moved a step closer to sealing a place in the group stage on their first African Champions League appearance in eight years after beating Cameroon's Coton Sport 2-0 at home on Sunday.
Central defender Baher El-Mohammadi, who has lately become a regular member of Egypt's starting line-up, ended the resistance of Coton Sport on the stroke of halftime when his tame header struck the keeper's hands and went in.
There was not an element of luck about the second goal though, with winger Karim Bambo making it 2-0 on the hour mark with a brilliant strike.
He met a low cross from the right with an unstoppable first-timer that left the keeper with no chance, sparking wild celebrations at the Ismailia Stadium.
Ismaily will now be favorites to book a group-stage spot when they meet Coton Sport in Garoua in the second leg.
Their last appearance in the Champions League saw them finish third in their group behind Algeria's JS Kabylie and Egyptian rivals Ahly in 2010.
Ismaily lifted some of the gloom hanging over them following a string of poor results that saw them slip to the bottom of the Egyptian Premier League table and exit the Arab Zayed Cup after a shootout defeat by Morocco's Raja.
They named a new coach on Saturday, bringing in Macedonian Cedomir Janevski to replace outgoing Brazilian boss Jorvan Vieira.
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