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Ahly edge past El-Geish to keep pace with leaders Zamalek

A late goal by striker Mohamed Fadl gives Ahly a hard-earned win over El-Geish in the Egyptian Premier League

Hatem Maher , Monday 18 Apr 2011
Mohamed Fadl
Fadl (L) scored the winner late in the game
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After claiming a late 1-0 victory over a resolute El-Geish side on Sunday, Ahly kept pace with Egyptian Premier League leaders and arch rivals Zamalek at the top of the tables.

Mohamed Fadl struck the winner with eight minutes remaining to make amends after wasting several goal-scoring chances earlier in the match.

Defending champions Ahly, who moved into second spot in the 16-team league table, narrowed the gap with Zamalek to three points. The White Knights could restore their six-point advantage if they beat Petrojet on Wednesday.

The Red Devils are eyeing a seventh consecutive league crown while Zamalek are eager to end a drought stretching back to 2004.

Ahly laid siege to El-Geish’s area in the first half, with their swift passing game causing constant menace to their helpless opponents.

But they were guilty of missing plenty of clear-cut opportunities that could have given them a comfortable first-half advantage.

Lone-striker Fadl, who was given the nod ahead of Mauritania frontman Dominique Da Silva, spurned a couple of goal-scoring chances.

He hit the side-netting from close range after evading a challenge and a few minutes later, fired wide, with the goal at his mercy after breaking clear of defence.

El-Geish keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi also pulled off a string of impressive saves to thwart several Ahly efforts.

Ahly could have been punished for their wastefulness just before the interval when a breakaway released El-Geish midfielder Amer Sabry, but his poor shot was blocked by keeper Ahmed Adel.

The hosts maintained their domination in the second half and were unlucky not to break the deadlock three minutes past the hour mark when Algerian playmaker Amir Sayoud released Fadl with a deft through pass but the former Ismaily man missed the target.

Classy playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika, who started on the bench, Egypt forward Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ and Da Silva were introduced to boost Ahly’s attacking options.

The substitutions paid dividends as Ahly upped the tempo and eventually broke the resistance of El-Geish in the 82nd minute.

Da Silva outpaced his marker to latch onto a long ball but El-Shennawi rushed out to block his effort before Fadl gathered the rebound.

The 30-year-old’s initial shot was blocked by a defender but the ball looped into his path to chest it home and atones for his wasted opportunities.

Ahly survived a couple of scares in the dying minutes to claim all three points and keep Zamalek in sight.

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