File photo of Ahly playmaker Abdallah El-Said (Ahram)
Abdallah El-Said scored a superb second-half goal to settle a hard-fought contest as Ahly claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Assiouty Sport to record an eighth consecutive victory in the Egyptian Premier League on Wednesday.
The Egypt playmaker produced a goal of sheer class eight minutes into the second half to end the resistance of a spirited Assiouty side, who are managed by ex-Ahly striker Ali Maher.
El-Said netted his second goal of the season, having come in for criticism lately for what many Ahly fans believe his lethargic displays.
Ahly, who won eight out of their first nine league games, moved to within two points of leaders Ismaily. Should the Red Devils win the rest of their rescheduled matches, they will be seven points clear of foes Ismaily on top.
Assiouty Sport lie 12th in the table with 13 points from 12 matches.
Unlike in recent games when Ahly created plenty of goal-scoring chances, they struggled to break down a resolute Assiouty side in a dull first half.
Moroccan striker Walid Azaro came closest when his header from a corner narrowly missed the target nine minutes before the break. He also had a low shot that went just wide earlier in the game.
Ahly lost central defender Saad Samir to injury in the first half but they were hardly affected, with Assiouty barely pushing forward.
The hosts were also short of creativity in the second half but El-Said settled the game with a superb piece of individual skill on 53 minutes.
He collected a pass on the left, tricked his challenger and sent a delightful curling effort into the far corner from just inside the area to give Ahly the lead they craved.
Junior Ajayi found the net with 15 minutes remaining after shaking off his challenger and blasting in off the post, only to see his goal bizarrely disallowed, with referee Gehad Greisha awarding the Nigerian forward what seemed a non-existent foul.
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