Newly-crowned champions Ahly held by 10-man Maqassa in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Saturday 19 Sep 2020

Ahly v Maqassa
Newly-crowned Egyptian champions Ahly were given a guard of honour by Maqassa before the game (Ahram)

Newly-crowned champions Ahly were held to a second successive draw for the first time this season, failing to break down 10-man Maqassa in another goalless stalemate in the Egyptian Premier League on Saturday.

Maqassa could have even snatched a famous win hadn't not been for a string of missed chances, extending their unbeaten run to six matches under coach Ihab Galal, which included four wins.

They had defender Mahmoud Dabash dismissed on 58 minutes after receiving a straight red card for a last-man foul on substitute Aliou Dieng but Ahly failed to make the most of their numerical advantage, producing another subdued display.

The Red Devils, who were crowned Egyptian champions for a fifth straight season without kicking a ball after Aswan defeated second-placed Zamalek 1-0 on Friday, were also held to a 0-0 draw by Ittihad in their previous game.

Despite wrapping up the title with six rounds left after gaining an unassailable 20-point lead, Ahly coach Rene Weiler fielded a full-strength side.

However, some defensive lapses will raise alarm bells before they meet Morocco's Wydad in a two-legged African Champions League semi-final next month.

Both sides had a goal disallowed after VAR reviews in the first half but Maqassa had the upper hand in terms of clear-cut chances, with their bold approach exposing gaps in Ahly's backline.

Ahly keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi thwarted Ahmed Mohsen in a one-on-one after 21 minutes and Malagasy forward Paulin Voavy shot wide with the goal at his mercy after breaking clear two minutes later.

The dismissal of Dabash hardly affected Maqassa, with striker Amr Marei spurning two more goal-scoring chances as Ahly were caught napping at the back.

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