Ahly's winning Egyptian league run halted by debutants Future FC

Hatem Maher , Sunday 26 Dec 2021

Ahly's winning start to their Egyptian Premier League campaign came to a surprise halt after they were held to a 1-1 draw by top-flight debutants Future FC in their last game before a lengthy stoppage on Sunday.

Ahly
Ahly held to a 1-1 draw by Future FC in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday (Ahram)

The Red Devils looked to be cruising when Mohamed Sherif, the league's top scorer last season with 21 goals, fired them ahead as early as the third minute.

However, Future FC proved dangerous on breakaways and threatened keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi on several occasions before midfielder Karim Walid, who left Ahly in the summer after an injury-disrupted spell, netted against his former club 12 minutes into the second half.

Ahly mounted an onslaught but could not penetrate a well-drilled defence marshalled by promising defender Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, who was part of Egypt's squad for the FIFA Arab Cup earlier this month.

The draw ended Ahly's six-match winning streak but they are still on top of the table on 19 points, level with second-placed Zamalek, who played a game more, and two clear of third-placed Pyramids FC.

Future, who spent big in the close season to bolster their squad with some experienced players after sealing promotion for the first time, including former Ahly and Zamalek footballers, remain 12th on eight points.

No more games will be played in the premier domestic competition until after the African Cup of Nations, which takes place from 9 January to 6 February in Cameroon.

Early opener

Ahly made a bright start when Sherif rifled into the roof of the net from seven yards out after a pull-back from winger Ahmed Abdel-Kader, who weaved his way past a couple of challengers on his way to the byline.

Future FC then redeemed themselves and caused constant menace to a shaky Ahly backline, which missed key defender Ayman Ashraf due to injury.

Ahly needed a last-ditch clearance from Hamdi Fathi to deny a goal-bound shot from striker Ahmed Atef after Future FC winger Mohamed Farouk got the better of keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi on the right hand side of the area.

The lively Atef was unlucky again in the 25th minute when a threaded pass released him, only to see his low shot strike the post.

In a bid to tighten up at the back, Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane took off ineffective Mozambican winger Luis Miquissone and introduced central defender Rami Rabia but the substitution backfired badly as the latter was at fault for Future FC's equaliser in the 57th minute.

Rabia played Atef onside following a long ball and the striker dribbled past him and cut the ball back to the onrushing Walid, who made no mistake with a low shot that went between the legs of the unsighted El-Shennawi.

Ahly's late pressure was contained by Future FC, who held on for a famous draw against their illustrious opponents.

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