Toothless Ahly held to frustrating draw by Belouizdad in Champions League

Ahmed Ghandour , Friday 8 Dec 2023

Egyptian Giants Ahly were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Algeria's Chabab De Belouizdad in the third round of Group D at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium on Friday.

Ahly forward Mahmoud Kahraba Abdel Moneim controls the ball during his side s goalless draw with Algeria s Chabab De Belouizdad in Group D of CAF Champions League on Friday, 8, December, 2023. Photo: Ahly s official X account

Despite the draw, the Red Devils managed to retain their position at the top of the group.

Ahly started the match with an attacking mindset, pushing forward from the first minute seeking an early goal. However, their forwards lacked precision and failed to convert their chances into goals.

In the 11th minute, Mahmoud "Kahraba" Abdel Moneim received a cross from Mohamed Hany inside the box but was denied by CR Belouizdad goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi, who turned the shot into a corner.

Six minutes later Rami Rabia's header went inches next to the post while Kahraba's follow-up shot also missed the mark.

In the 36th minute, midfielder Mohamed 'Afsha' Magdi sent Percy Tau with a long pass but his poor effort was denied by the Algerian keeper.

And just before the break Hussein El-Shahat dispossessed Belouizdad defender Mouad Hadded on the edge of the penalty area and delivered a pass in front of the goal, but the defense cleared it out of danger.

Belouizdad sat back on defence and had just a single attempt on goal in the opening 45 minutes when Lionel Wampa powered a header next to the post in the 19th minute.

In the second half, Ahly continued their quest for a goal but struggled to control the midfield.

In the 52nd minute, El-Shahat ran into a long pass by Tau behind the defenders but his headers struck the crossbar and just after Kahraba had another attempt going over the bar.

Ahly coach Marcel Koller attempted to inject fresh energy into the midfield by introducing Emam Ashour and Ahmed "Koka" Nabil as replacements for Aliou Dieng and Marwan Attia, but their impact was limited.

In the 78th minute, Koller brought on attacking trio Anthony Modeste, Karim Fouad, and Taher Mohamed Taher in a bid to find a winning goal, but their efforts fell short.

With this result, Ahly remain at the top of Group D with 5 points, closely followed by Belouizdad and Medeama, who are one point behind. Young Africans continue to occupy the bottom spot in the group with 2 points.

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