Mohamed Abou-Treika came off the bench in the second half to notch home and give Ahly a 1-0 victory over a brave Ittihad El-Shorta side that lifted them to the top of the Egyptian Premier League on Wednesday.
The veteran playmaker, who replaced Dominique Da Silva after the Mauritania striker wasted several goal-scoring opportunities, struck the winner on 70 minutes to end the resistance of El-Shorta.
The 33-year-old, who took his tally to 106 league goals in his career, is trying to prove doubters wrong after some pundits said he could no longer perform at the highest level, given his sluggish displays of late.
Defending champions Ahly, who are chasing an eighth consecutive league title, are on top of the table with 33 points, two ahead of Harras El-Hodoud who can move back to the summit with a victory over Gouna on Thursday.
Ahly’s arch-rivals Zamalek, who are also in action on Thursday, lie third with 29 points.
The Red Devils were guilty of spurning easy chances against El-Shorta, who at times kept possession with some precise passes in midfield but struggled to threaten their much more fancied opponents.
Two last-ditch clearances from El-Shorta defender Ahmed Doweidar in quick succession prevented Ahly from going ahead after seven minutes.
Forward Mohamed Nagy “Geddo” outpaced his marker to latch onto a through pass, break clear and round the keeper but his effort was cleared by a header from Doweidar, whose goal-line clearance immediately afterwards thwarted Dominique’s follow-up effort.
Dominique astonishingly sent a very weak shot into the keeper’s hand with the goal at his mercy two minutes before the break after he pounced on a slip from El-Shorta defender Hossam Abdel-Gawad.
The Mauritanian drew jeers from the Ahly crowd when he squandered another clear-cut chance 13 minutes after the restart, shooting straight at the keeper from few yards out after connecting with a low cross from playmaker Abdallah El-Saied.
Abou-Treika replaced Dominique on 64 minutes and the substitution paid dividends six minutes later when he fired into the roof of the net on the rebound after El-Sayed Hamdi’s toe-poked effort was blocked by the keeper.
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