Smouha players (Photo: Smouha sporting club website)
Egyptian club Smouha blamed the Guinean referee for their 0-1 defeat against the Leopards of Congo on Sunday in the first leg of the African Champions League round of 16.
"The referee canceled a deserved goal. It was scored even before the Leopards winning goal. Without refereeing mistakes, we could have returned from Congo as winners," the Alexandrian club football director, Atef Hanafy, told their website.
A goal by Smouha defender Yasser Ibrahim was disallowed on an offside call by the referee. However, the Leopards were able to score after 30 minutes via a penalty.
"We delivered a good performance in a very difficult game and we are all very optimistic for the second leg," Hanafy added.
The coastal club will host the Leopards in the second leg on 1 May if they are to book a historic group-stage place.
Smouha finished as runners-up in the Egyptian Premier League last season behind title-holders Ahly.
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