Ahly end 13-year Mahalla Stadium jinx after injury-time drama

Karim Farouk , Monday 22 Nov 2021

​Ahly scored deep in injury time to claim a 3-2 win against Ghazl El-Mahalla on Monday to end a 13-year jinx in Mahalla Stadium.

Mohamed Afsha Magdi
Ahly playmaker Mohamed "Afsha" Magdi celebrates after scoring the first goal against Ghazl El Mahalla (Photo: Ahly twitter account)

A deflected free kick from Ali Maaloul eight minutes into injury time gave Ahly the full points of the game, as Abdo Yehia (56th minute) and a self-goal from Akram Tawfik (90+2) cancelled out the Cairo giants’ early goals from playmaker Mohamed “Afsha” Magdi and Percy Tau in the 11th and 48th minutes.

The Red Devils last won in Mahalla Stadium in February 2008 when Angolan striker Amado Flavio scored the winner.

Ahly, who are looking to regain the league title they lost last season to arch-rivals Zamalek, have extended their perfect start of the season to claim 15 points after five games.

Two-goal lead

Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane made only one change to his regular lineup, as Yasser Ibrahim started in a three-man defence instead of Hamdi Fathi, who was suspended from this game after receiving a red card against Arab Contractors on Friday.

The visitors started with expected pressure and got what they wanted in the 11th minute, when Afsha scored from the goal line after receiving a pass from Mohamed Sherif.

The hosts pressed forward in an attempt to get back in the game, but Ahly kept their rhythm and blocked all their spaces at the back.

An unmarked Ibrahim Kone in the area could have levelled the score, but his volley shot went wide.

Ahly posed a real threat to their rivals as Amr El-Sulaya’s shot bounced off a defender, Afsha was denied from close range by the keeper while Sherif lacked precision after being set up by Percy Tau on the edge of the area.

Just after the interval, Tau made amends for a first half miss after latching onto a through pass from Afsha to brilliantly skip past the last defender Moaz El-Hennawi and beat the keeper at the near post.

Late drama

Abdo Yehia pulled one back for Ghazl El-Mahalla after evading his markers to slot home from close range in the 56th minute.

Substitute Ahmed Abdel-Kader missed the chance to kill the game when his close-range shot bounced off the post.

El-Mahalla were on the front foot in the last minutes and were able to claim a late equaliser in the 90+2 minute when Yehia flicked a corner into the box, only to be deflected by Tawfik into his own net.

And while they seemed seconds away from a point and defending their home reputation, Tunisian left back Maaloul fired a free kick that bounced off a defender, wrong-footing the keeper to a dramatic winner.

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