Ismaily’s hopes of winning their first league title since 2002 faded after they slumped to a 1-0 loss to El-Geish in a match that witnessed a flurry of wasted goal-scoring opportunities.
Ghanaian striker Ernest Papa Arko converted a 78th-minute penalty as El-Geish made the most of their numerical advantage following the dismissal of Ismaily midfielder Ahmed Khairy early in the second half for a second bookable offense.
El-Geish created a host of clear-cut chances throughout the game but Papa Arko and his strike partner Mikael Dodzi of Togo were guilty of squandering the majority of them.
But Ismaily could not survive after Khairy was sent off. Their already fragile defence failed to deal with the neat footwork and accurate passes of playmaker Ayman Hefny, whose second-half introduction made the difference.
El-Geish were awarded a penalty when Ismaily defender Moatasem Salem fouled Hefny after the latter made one of his trademark darting runs. Papa Arko sent the keeper the wrong way to give the hosts a deserved win.
Ismaily’s visiting fans ripped off some of the seats at the stadium after their team fell behind, apparently realizing their team virtually lost hopes of competing for the league title.
The Dervishes remain third in the table with 42 points, seven behind leaders Zamalek with six matches remaining.