Ahly forward Ramadan Sobhi (Photo: Ahram)
A 93rd-minute strike from Ahly youngster Ramadan Sobhi sunk Ittihad of Alexandria 1-0 on Thursday, to bounce back after last week's defeat to Haras El-Hodoud.
The Red Devils overcame their difficulties during the game as Hossam Ashour pulled off early in the game, increasing the team's injury woes, while they ended the game with only 10 men on the pitch, after winger Walid Soliman was sent off in the second half.
It wasn't one of Ahly's best shows as they are struggling with a serious injury situation, missing six key players, but they are now back on course in their race for a champions league spot.
Strong leaders Zamalek seem untouchable with 66 points and two games in hand, five ahead of second-placed ENPPI and eight in front of Ahly, who are unlikely to retain their title for a ninth year in a row.
The first half was a dull affair, especially in its opening stages. Hosts Ittihad of Alexandria tried to threaten Ahly, playing the ball into the space behind the full backs, but they couldn't capitalise on it.
Keeper Sherif Ekrami was never tested, as he watched the few attempts on him flying off his goal.
Ahly suffered a blow as early as the 13th minute as central midfielder Ashour sustained an injury, paving the way for Brazilian-German born midfielder Hendrik Helmke to make his official debut since joining the squad last January.
As the game progressed, the visitors got the upper hand pushing Ittihad into their own half.
The first real action came midway through the half when right-back Bassem Ali broke into the area, cutting inside before switching the ball to his weak left-foot but his efforts went easily into the hands of the keeper.
A few minutes later, Abdallah El-Said showed a glimpse of his immense talent, dribbling past three defenders and setting the ball to Emad Meteb who blasted it over the bar from the edge of the area.
El-Said came close to scoring, as he received the ball in the area with his back to the goal, and twisted before firing a left-foot shot, but he missed the target.
Ittihad had their first real chance after the break, when striker Akram Abd-Rabou rose over the defence to send a powerful header from inside the six yards that went inches next to the post.
Coach Fathi Mabrouk re-adjusted his scheme from 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1, bringing in newly-returned Walid Soliman to replace striker Peter Ebimobowei in an attempt to carve more spaces in Ittihad's defence.
It was a maneuver that totally collapsed, as Soliman received his marching orders in the 75th minute, 8 minutes after his introduction.
With Ittihad defending deep into their half, Ahly kept on pressing, but lacked the creativity and efficiency to find the back of Ali Farag's nets.
They had to wait until the dying seconds to see the winner, as Sobhi picked a rebound from Sabri Rahil's free kick that had crashed off the bar to fire it into the goal from close range.