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Fans storm pitch as Masry comeback hands Ahly first defeat

A bad-tempered game in Port Said ends in the favour of Masry, who beat 10-man Ahly 3-1 to hand them their first league defeat

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 1 Feb 2012
Masry fans
Masry fans chase Ahly players and technical staff members following the final whistle
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Forward Moemen Zakareya scored a second-half brace as Masry came from behind to beat 10-man Ahly 3-1 on Wednesday, handing the defending champions their first Egyptian Premier League defeat this season.

In an ill-tempered match that was halted for several minutes in the second half due to crowd troubles in Port Said, Ahly went to the locker room with a 1-0 lead, thanks to Brazilian Fabio Junior’s maiden goal.

Masry, who were superior throughout the game despite trailing, stormed back in the second period with goals from Zakaria and Burkinabe striker Abdoulaye Cisse to claim a precious win.

Ahly played the last 13 minutes with ten men after skipper Hossam Ghaly was sent off. It was not immediately clear why the referee Fahim Omar gave him a second yellow card as the Egyptian international furiously trudged off.

Ugly scenes erupted immediately after the final whistle, with thousands of Masry supporters invading the pitch to chase Ahly players and technical staff, who ran for their behinds.

“All the players were brutally beaten. We are stuck in the dressing room, the coach (Manuel Jose) is not with us now,” panicked right-back Ahmed Fathi said in a phone interview with Modern Kora.

Ahly, whose previous league defeat was in November 2010, failed to leapfrog league leaders and surprise package Harras El-Hodoud.

El-Hodoud have 37 points, one ahead of Ahly who played a game more. Third-placed Zamalek, who have 32 points, face Ismaily later in the day.

El-Khatib picture

In a bid to ease tensions, the stadium’s screen displayed a picture of Ahly legend Mahmoud El-Khatib before kick-off, featuring a message wishing him a speedy recovery.

El-Khatib, who was named as Africa’s best player in 1983, underwent a brain surgery to remove a benign tumour in Germany.

The first half was a trouble-free affair, with Ahly taking the initiative after 11 minutes when Junior towered unmarked to head home an inch-perfect corner from the in-form Fathi.

Masry gained complete control afterwards, laying siege to Ahly’s area and unsettling their defence with an intricate passing game.

Ahly needed some impressive saves from goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy, who is in contention to earn a place in Egypt’s squad for the upcoming Nations Cup qualifier against Central Africa, to keep their lead intact before the break.

Ekramy parried a powerful shot from Zakaria before producing a superb one-handed save to thwart a close-range header from Abdel-Salam Nagah just before halftime.

In between, Burkinabe striker Abdoulaye Cisse chested a flick-on on the edge of the area and sent a left-foot shot that went just wide of the target.

Crowd troubles

A handful of Masry fans stormed the pitch during the break but were escorted out by security personnel. However, the game was stopped for several minutes after the restart after the supporters threw firecrackers and stones onto the pitch.

Masry levelled the score in the 72nd minute when Zakaria placed a precise shot into the bottom corner after being found unmarked by a cross from substitute Ahmed Sherweida.

He sparked wild celebrations in the stands when he put Masry in front with seven minutes remaining, ghosting behind Ahly’s defence to collect a through pass, round Ekramy and slot into an empty net.

Cisse wrapped up the win in stoppage time after some woeful defending allowed him to break clear to round Ekramy and score.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online sports on Twitter: @AO_Sports)

   

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