Champions League hopes of Egypt's Ismaily all but over after 3-2 loss in Algeria

Hatem Maher , Saturday 2 Mar 2019

Ismaily drew with Constantine 1-1 in the home fixture in Alexandria (Ahram)

Egypt's Ismaily let slip their lead twice to slump to a 3-2 defeat at Algeria's CS Constantine which all but ended their hopes of reaching the African Champions League knockout phase on Saturday.

The loss leaves Ismaily with a solitary point from four matches, nine behind leaders Constantine and six adrift of second-placed TP Mazembe of the DR Congo.

They still have a mathematical chance to go through but with the unlikeliest of scenarios as they need to win their remaining two matches, including beating Mazembe by more than a two-goal margin, and hope other results go their way.
Ismaily midfielder Emad Hamdi, who was the culprit in the 1-1 draw with Constantine in the home fixture after putting the ball into his own net at the death, stunned the home crowd after 13 minutes when he beat the keeper at his near post with a half-volley following an inviting cross from left-back Tarek Taha.

Nasreddine Zaalani leveled the score on the stroke of halftime when he outjumped his marker and powered a bullet header in off the crossbar as Ismaily showed the first signs of their aerial weaknesses.

Namibian striker Benson Shilongo restored Ismaily's advantage five minutes into the second half following a superb individual effort, flicking the ball past his challenger before volleying in from inside the area.

However, they could not hold onto their lead as Constantine punished their woeful defending to emerge winners.

Nassim Yettou made it 2-2 in the 67th minute with a simple header on the rebound after Ismaily keeper Mohamed Fawzi parried a weak header from Dylan Bahamboula into his path.

Bahamboula turned to scorer with nine minutes remaining to demolish Ismaily's hopes, with his header from another left-wing cross striking Fawzy's hands and going in.

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