Egypt's Ismaily denied by last-gasp equaliser in African Champions League

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Feb 2019

File photo of Benson Shilongo (C), who scored Ismaily's only goal against CS Constantine (Photo: Ismaily's official Facebook page)

A last-gasp own goal broke the hearts of Ismaily who were about to grab a much-needed African Champions League win, only to draw 1-1 at home to Algeria's CS Constantine to suffer more misery in the competition.

Namibian striker Benson Shilongo broke the deadlock nine minutes past the hour mark as Ismaily looked to be on their way to revive their hopes in the group after two opening defeats.

However, Emad Hamdi inadvertently converted a cross into his own net deep in stoppage time, sparking wild celebrations among Constantine players as the Algerian outfit bagged a precious point on the road.

Some of Ismaily players sobbed at the final whistle as they failed to make the most of a reprieve from African governing body CAF, which reinstated the team to the Champions League after initially expelling them after crowd trouble led to the abandonment of a home game against Club Africain last month.

The Dervishes, who are making their first Champions League appearance in eight years, lie at the bottom of the group with a solitary point from three matches, six behind leaders TP Mazembe who played a match more.

Constantine are second with seven points from three matches, three clear of Tunisia's Club Africain who played four.

The first half was a dour affair, with both sides only trying some tame efforts.

Shilongo opened the scoring in the 69th minute when he pounced on a slip by defender Kheireddine Arroussi to volley home from just inside the area, with the weak effort going beneath the keeper.

He spurned a couple of chances to double the lead and Ismaily were punished at the death when a low right-wing cross bounced off Hamdi and into the corner of the net.

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