Maaloul's stoppage-time double helps Ahly end winless run with dramatic comeback

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 May 2022

A stoppage-time double from left-back Ali Maaloul helped Ahly snap a four-match winless run with a dramatic 2-1 comeback victory over Enppi in the Egyptian Premier League on Saturday.

Ali Maaloul
Ali Maaloul (R) scored a late double as Ahly came from behind to beat Enppi 2-1 in the Egyptian Premier League on Saturday (Ahram)

Despite missing a host of regulars after a string of injuries hit their key players, Ahly were the better side throughout but Enppi scored against the run of play when Mostafa Shalabi curled a free kick home with 14 minutes remaining.

Ahly had several penalty appeals waved away by the referee, including one that required a lengthy VAR review after a cross had apparently struck the arm of Enppi's Mohamed Hamed, but Maaloul came to their rescue with two fine efforts.

Four minutes into stoppage time, he lashed a loose ball home from inside the area before popping up at the far post to drill home the second three minutes later and spark wild celebrations in the stands and among his teammates.

Enppi finished with ten men after Ibrahim Yehia was red-carded for dissent, with the players furiously protesting against the referee following the final whistle, arguing that substitute Hossam Hassan was offside when he attempted to back-heel the low cross that eventually found Maaloul for the winner.

However, another VAR review showed that Hassan was actually onside.

Ahly, who were guilty of missing a host of easy chances in the past four games, in which they lost once and drew three times, lie third in the table with 37 points.

They are two points behind Pyramids, who played two games more, and four adrift of leaders Zamalek, who played three matches more.  

Enppi, who caused an upset by beating defending champions Zamalek 2-0 earlier this month, are ninth on 24 points.

First scare

Enppi had the first scare when in-form Nigerian striker John Ebuka hit the side netting after dribbling past defender Rami Rabia in the first minute, but Ahly quickly assumed control.

Ahly's swift moves in the final third kept Enppi's defenders on their toes, with the wingers sending in numerous crosses from both flanks.

Enppi keeper Mahmoud Gad rushed out in a timely manner to foil Mohamed Sherif after a pass was played over the top of defence before his strike partner Salah Mohsen was guilty of a glaring miss on 37 minutes, volleying over the bar with the goal at his mercy after a dinked pass picked him out unmarked.

Ahly laid siege to Enppi's area in the second half, with Sherif and off-form winger Hussein El-Shahat squandering some easy opportunities.

They were caught aback when Shalabi put Enppi in front after his free-kick went over the poorly-positioned wall and past the despairing dive of keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi.

However, Maaloul's last-gasp brace broke their hearts and gave Ahly a deserved win.

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