An injury-time goal by starlet Ahmed Shokry earned Ahly a 1-1 draw against third from bottom side Arab Contractors in the Egyptian Premier League on Saturday.
Ahly, who looked lively in a 2-1 victory over Harras El-Hodoud last week, were in desperate need for another win to take them into Thursday's Cairo derby against Zamalek in the best possible way.
They restored parity in added time after falling behind to a goal from Contractors' promising striker Mohamed Salah, but could not find the decisive winner.
Ahly, who are chasing a seventh consecutive league title, are fourth in the table with 24 points, six behind leaders Zamalek.
The Red Devils had to do without central defender Wael Gomaa, serving an automatic one-match suspension after accumulating four yellow cards.
They suffered from more bad luck when they were forced to make unscripted substitutions after sole striker Mohamed Fadl and defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour picked up injuries. They made way for Mohamed Barakat and Afroto respectively.
Contractors took the lead when Salah caught Ahly defenders napping to run onto a long ball and send a low shot that went beneath the hands of keeper Mahmoud Aboul-Saoud.
Ahly playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika was close to reaching the 100-goal league milestone in the 71st minute but shot over the bar after being set-up by Barakat.
The league holders piled on the pressure but wasted several goal scoring chances through Abou-Treika, Barakat and Geddo.
Their onslaught paid dividends when Shokry's cross-come-shot from the right flank deceived the keeper and flew into the net.
However, it came too late as Contractors held on with 10 men following the 77th minute dismissal of Nigerian defender Tigana Shamselden for a second bookable offense, to secure a share of spoils.