Sluggish Ahly held to 0-0 draw to drop more points in Egyptian league

Hatem Maher , Thursday 28 Apr 2022

The contrast between Ahly's exploits in the African Champions League and their stuttering domestic run could not be starker as they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by Talae El-Geish in the Egyptian Premier League on Wednesday.

Ahly v Talae El-Geish

Despite being in a buoyant mood after reaching the Champions League semi-final with a 3-2 aggregate win over Morocco's Raja, Ahly could not find a way past a resilient Geish side.

South African forward Percy Tau was the culprit, missing a sitter on two occasions while substitute Salah Mohsen was also denied by a superb save at full stretch from keeper Mohamed Bassam.

At the other end, El-Geish could have snatched a stunning win with four minutes remaining when 18-year-old Nigerian forward Victory Beniangba broke clear and rounded keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi, only to hit the outside of the post with a poor shot with the goal gaping.

Ahly failed to put pressure on challengers and Cairo rivals Zamalek, who will face Masry on Thursday.

The Red Devils, who tasted their first defeat of the season when they lost 1-0 to Masry in their previous game, lie second in the table with 32 points, three behind leaders Zamalek, who played two games more.

El-Geish, who caused an upset ahead of the season when they beat Ahly on penalties in the Egyptian Super Cup, are 11th on 19 points.

Tau's misses

Ahly looked sluggish throughout but could have still bagged all three points had they converted the few goal-scoring opportunities they created.

El-Geish surprisingly adopted a bold approach in the early stages, moving the ball around confidently.

However, Tau, who has recently come in for criticism for his wastefulness, was guilty of a glaring miss in the 23rd minute when he intercepted a poor back pass from El-Geish's full-back Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, skipped past Bassam in a one-on-one situation before astonishingly scuffing his effort wide.

El-Geish also had a chance of their own, with Ahly keeper El-Shennawi rushing out in a timely manner to smother a goal-bound effort from Ahmed Samir, who was found unmarked by a pull-back.

Ahly pinned El-Geish in their own half in the second period and once again Tau missed a certain goal, heading over the bar from close range after striker Hossam Hassan, who made a rare start, nodded the ball into his path.

Bassam also came to El-Geish's rescue with a stunning save to block Mohsen's flick with his fingertips at the far post before Beniangba squandered what could have been a stunning winner.

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