Despite late surge, Ahly fail to overcome Ismaily to share spoils in Egyptian league

Omar Zaazou , Wednesday 15 Feb 2017

Ahly remain in charge of the league table, five points ahead of second-placed Maqassa

Ahly and Ismaily (Al-Ahram)
Ahly and Ismaily draw 0-0 in the Egyptian Premier League (Al-Ahram)

League leaders Ahly failed to make the most of a late surge in a largely insipid Egyptian league affair to play out a goalless draw with bitter foes Ismaily at Suez's Army Stadium on Wednesday.

Going into the game looking to bounce back from last week's Egyptian Super Cup shootout defeat by arch-rivals Zamalek, defending champions Ahly could not further cement their position on top of the league after being held by the Dervishes.

In a dull affair in which both teams largely struggled to string passes together, it was the last 15 minutes of the game that saw some late action – albeit with neither scoring a decisive goal.

Ahly remain in charge of the table with 46 points, five ahead of second-placed Maqassa and 12 ahead of Zamalek who played three games less.

Late action

In a game that has seen Ahly boss Hossam El-Badry leave out Egypt trio Abdallah El-Said, Ahmed Fathi and Ahmed Hegazy after an exhausting Nations Cup campaign, Junior Ajayi was deployed in the no.10 position behind lone striker Amr Gamal.

The Ahly attackers , however, did not impress much, with summer-signing Mido Gaber coming close only once in the first half when his strike near the edge of the box was kept away by keeper Mohamed Awad.

All action started late in the game, with Ismaily midfielder Emad Hamdi going through on goal after dribbling past center-back Mohamed Naguib only to see his effort agonizingly bounce off the bar in the 78th minute.  

The chance seemed to have wakened Ahly up, with skipper Hossam Ghaly – who did not enjoy his best of games in midfield – seeing a half-volley from inside the box miss the target by inches.

With Ahly continuing to pile up the pressure, substitute Saleh Gomaa also seemed to have come close to scoring when his swerving shot was parried by keeper Awad as the game ended in a goalless stalemate.

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