Egypt's Zamalek settle for draw with Ahli Tripoli to top Champions League group

Hatem Maher , Tuesday 23 May 2017

Screenshot of Zamalek's 0-0 draw with Ahli Tripoli in the African Champions League on Tuesday

Egypt's Zamalek survived some first-half scares to settle for a 0-0 draw with Libyan side Ahli Tripoli in Tunisia, moving top of their African Champions League group on Tuesday.

Ahli could have gone to the locker room at least 1-0 up but were profligate in the first half while Zamalek found it hard to create goal-scoring chances.

However, the Cairo giants spurned a golden chance to score against the run of play in the dying minutes when substitute Stanley Ohawuchi was denied in a one-on-one situation.

Zamalek will still be satisfied to avoid a loss, having beaten Zimbabwe's Caps United 2-0 in their opening Group B game in Alexandria earlier this month.

They have four points from two games but USM Alger, who have three points, could move back to the summit if they beat Caps United on Wednesday.

Lucky Zamalek

The match took place in Tunisian city Sfax due to security concerns in Libya, with Ahli fans spurring their side with vociferous chants. 

Zamalek were lucky not to concede an early goal, with Ahli making an enthusiastic start and looking dangerous in aerial balls.

Keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi produced a fine reflex save to thwart a close-range header from the unmarked Anis Saltou after eight minutes before another free header from Mohamed Ghanudi went just wide eight minutes later.

Despite their territorial dominance, Zamalek struggled to carve out openings, with their only half-chance in the first half falling to winger Ahmed Refaat, whose shot on the turn was easily saved by the keeper.

Ahli almost went ahead 10 minutes before the break when Muaid Ellafi somehow forced his way past three defenders in the left hand side of the penalty area and rattled the bar with a powerful close-range shot.

The second half was dull affair, with neither side able to muster any threats apart from Zamalek's late chance.

Portuguese coach Augusto Inacio introduced pacy wingers Stanley and Mostafa Fathi in the latter stages as he sought to exploit any gaps on the breakaways but his side seemed content with a draw, although they could have snatched all three points in a rare foray forward with four minutes remaining.

Fathi released Ohawuchi with a deft pass and the Nigerian broke clear, only to see his low shot blocked by advancing keeper Mohamed Nashnush.

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