Ahly lose ground in Egyptian league race with draw at Gouna

Ahram Online , Tuesday 5 Jul 2022

Ahly stumbled for the second straight game to lose ground in the Egyptian Premier League race, failing to break down a resilient Gouna side in a 0-0 draw in the latter club's Red Sea resort on Tuesday.

Ahly v Gouna

The Red Devils, playing their first league game under new Portuguese coach Ricardo Soares, needed a response following their stunning 3-2 loss to Smouha last week but they looked largely sluggish against their lowly opponents, who lie just two points above the relegation zone.

Ahly went close just once in a first half to forget and wasted some easy chances after the break, including a free header from substitute Hossam Hassan that went over the bar deep in stoppage time.

Gouna, who also held Ahly to two draws last season, looked content to sit back and soak up pressure and threatened once following a breakaway in the second half.

Just over a week ago, Ahly had a chance to pull five points clear on top if they had won their rescheduled games.

However, Ahly, who are third on 45 points, will now only go level on top with arch rivals and defending champions Zamalek if they win their two matches in hand.

Zamalek top the table with 51 points, two ahead of second-placed Pyramids in an exciting three-horse race for the premier domestic competition.

Ahly were devoid of spark and creativity in a slow-paced first half, which only sprang to life on the stroke of halftime when a header from winger Salah Mohsen struck the bar following an inviting cross from Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul.

One of the highlights of the second half was a bizarre indirect free-kick awarded to Ahly inside the six-yard box after Gouna keeper Emad El-Sayed mistakenly kicked the ball twice from a goal kick.

However, Maaloul poorly blazed his effort high over after a touched-on free kick.

Ahly keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi dived to his left to smother a rare effort from Gouna's Mostafa Shabrawi before the Cairo giants took control again.

Mohsen fired straight into the keeper's hands with the goal at his mercy and Hamdi Fathi headed over the bar from a good scoring position before Hossam Hassan wasted the game's best chance at the death.

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