Ismaily stumble in Egyptian Premier League race (File photo: Ahram)
Ismaily and Petrojet surrendered a chance to increase the gap on Group B challengers Zamalek after being held to 1-1 draws by Ittihad El-Shorta and Wadi Degla respectively on Saturday.
Injury-hit Ismaily looked to be cruising to a much-needed win when debutant Abdul Bashiru opened the scoring after six minutes; the Ghanaian's half-volley from the edge of the area going into the bottom corner of the net.
Although the youthful-looking Ismaily played without a host of key players including Egyptian international midfielders Hosni Abd-Rabou and Amr El-Sulaya, they were in control for most of the game, wasting some clear-cut chances.
Ghanaian striker John Antwi was guilty of two glaring misses and Ismaily were punished in the latter stages when El-Shorta poured forward in search of an equalizer they eventually got with five minutes remaining.
A low shot from Nigerian midfielder Maarouf Yusuf, who was unchallenged, went past Ismaily's keeper to help El-Shorta secure a share of spoils.
Group leaders Petrojet fell behind when Degla's Ethiopian striker Saladin Said opened the scoring in the 69th minute after beating his marker to a low cross at the near post.
However, a superb individual effort from striker Marwan Mohsen, who flicked a long ball over his marker and slotted home under the body of veteran keeper Essam El-Hadary on 78 minutes, restored parity.
Petrojet are still on top with 26 points from 14 games, five clear of Ismaily who have a game in hand. Zamalek, who were held to a 1-1 draw by El-Gaish on Thursday to extend their winless run to four matches, have 16 points from 11 games.
The group winners and runners-up will advance to a mini-league four-team phase to determine the champion.
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