Egypt's Ismaily out of Champions League contention after draw with Mazembe

Ahram Online , Friday 8 Mar 2019

File photo of Ismaily (the club's official Facebook page)

Egypt's below-par side Ismaily lost any hopes of reaching the African Champions League quarter-finals after they were held to a 1-1 home draw by DR Congo's TP Mazembe in Alexandria on Friday.

Mazembe were the better side for most of the game as Ismaily's sluggish display did them no favours in their quest to keep alive their very slim hopes of advancing to the knockout phase.

Meschak Elia hit the side netting before making amends in the 40th minute to give five-time Champions League winners Mazembe a deserved lead, popping up unmarked at the far post to tap in into an empty net after a low cross from Jackson Muleka.

Ismaily, who were otherwise largely disappointing, leveled the score from their first meaningful chance 10 minutes after the interval.

Winger Abdel-Rahman Magdi, who earned a surprise Egypt call-up for a Nations Cup qualifier against Niger later this month, eluded his challenger on the edge of the area and sent a bouncing shot into the bottom corner.

Both sides had late chances to score again, with substitute Mahmoud Abdel-Aati mis-hitting his effort with the goal at his mercy and Mazembe having a powerful shot denied by the bar at the other end.

The draw leaves winless Ismaily at the bottom of the group with only two points from five matches, eight behind leaders CS Constantine of Algeria and six adrift of second-placed Mazembe with only one game remaining.

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