Ahly thrash El-Entag El-Harby 4-1 in the Egyptian Premier League (Photo: Ahram)
A second-half goal blitz saw Ahly crush El-Entag El-Harby 4-1 to move joint top in the Egyptian Premier League on Tuesday, having once again displayed a free-flowing attacking football.
The defending champions were unlucky not to break the deadlock in the first half after wasting some easy opportunities but they opened the floodgates in the second period to destroy Entag.
Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul opened the scoring early in the second half and Hussein El-Shahat added the second with a sublime effort.
Veteran winger Walid Soliman then came off the bench to net two sumptuous goals, sandwiched between an Entag consolation scored by ex-Zamalek striker Bassem Morsi.
Ahly, who dropped points just once in six matches after drawing with Wadi Degla earlier this month, moved level on 16 points with perennial Cairo rivals Zamalek, although the Red Devils have the better goal difference.
Ahly were once again guilty of profligacy, wasting several clear-cut chances in the first half.
Livewire winger Mahmoud Kahraba hit the side netting after being played in by Aliou Dieng early on, new arrival Walter Bwalya had a tame shot blocked by the keeper's legs when well-positioned to score on 35 minutes and Maaloul rattled the bar with a curling free kick one minute later.
El-Entag had their moments though, assuming control for long spells before the break and creating some half-chances, including a low shot from Ivorian winger Sanogo Vieira that narrowly missed the target.
But Ahly finally broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half after a neat move.
El-Shahat exchanged passes with Bwalya and raced clear but his attempt to round the keeper ended up rolling the ball into the path of Maaloul, who found an empty net from a tight angle.
Congolese Bwalya missed a sitter on 51 minutes when he fired over the crossbar in a one-on-one situation, a glaring miss that left him waiting for his maiden goal with the club he joined from Gouna in the winter transfer window.
But El-Shahat made amends to double the lead in the 69th minute, holding off a tame challenge from a couple of challengers in the area to move the ball to his right foot and plant an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
Soliman added the third eight minutes later with a far-post volley that bounced off the ground and looped over the keeper and into the net.
Morsi pulled one back with an equally brilliant strike after a mistake from Ahly substitute Rami Rabia, who gave away possession in the area, but Soliman ended any slim hopes of a comeback with a wonderful swerving shot four minutes from time.
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