Ahly's 7-match winning run halted by El-Entag draw in Egyptian league

Hatem Maher , Sunday 30 Apr 2017

Ahly held to a 1-1 draw by El-Entag El-Harby in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday (Ahram)

Ahly conceded their first Egyptian Premier League goal since December as a 1-1 draw with lowly El-Entag El-Harby ended their seven-match winning run on Sunday.

The Red Devils fell behind after El-Entag's Ethiopian striker Oumed Oukri opened the scoring with a free header on 48 minutes but restored parity three minutes later via a fortuitous goal from Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi.

The defending champions, who are overwhelming favourites to clinch a ninth league title in 10 seasons, looked sluggish throughout but the sudden draw is unlikely to affect their chances of winning the premier domestic competition for a 39th time.

They lead the table with 68 points, eight clear of second-placed Maqassa with eight matches remaining.

Maqassa, this season's surprise package, proved the only genuine challengers to Ahly on top after the latter's perennial rivals Zamalek slipped to third following a series of poor results.

El-Entag, who lie 14th in the table, are five points clear of the relegation zone.

No creativity  

Ahly failed to mount any threats in a disappointing first half as they lacked creativity to slice open the defence, with winger Ahmed Hamoudi and playmaker Abdallah El-Said hardly combining in the final third.

El-Entag moved the ball around well and created the best chance nine minutes before the break.

Forward Salah Amin nutmugged Ahly's central defender Rami Rabia, who has recently recovered from injury, and ran half the length of the pitch but his subsequent low shot from the edge of the area was blocked by keeper Sherif Ekramy.

Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry was ordered from the touchline on the stroke of halftime for seemingly looking the referee up and down and El-Entag caught their fancied opponents by surprise on 48 minutes to take the lead.

Oukri rose unmarked to head a corner past Ekramy as Ahly conceded their fifth goal this term after keeping a clean sheet for nine straight games.

But they were soon level as a defensive clearance following a low cross from the left ricocheted off Ajayi and into the net, with the goal sparking furious protests from El-Entag players who argued that the ball had hit the arm of the Nigerian forward.

The introduction of winger Walid Soliman and striker Amr Gamal failed to inject zeal and Ahly still struggled to carve out openings, with El-Entag comfortably dealing with their tame efforts to secure a share of spoils.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: