Ahly beat nine-man Contractors after refereeing controversy
Omar Zaazou , Wednesday 25 May 2016
Arab Contractors reached a point where they were playing with only seven men on the pitch

Ahly claimed a 3-0 away victory over Arab Contractors in a dramatic Egyptian league fixture that saw the game almost called off after the hosts went down to nine men before reaching a point where they were playing with only seven on the pitch.

A 21st-minute goal by Malick Evouna sparked an outrage from Contractors, who subsequently had two players in striker Ahmed Ali and full-back Ahmed 'Mody' sent off in quick succession for dissent.

Evouna then scored Ahly's second just three minutes from half-time against a nine-man Contractors, before the Gabon striker set up Moemen Zakareya for the visitors' third of the night after the break.

Contractors seemed determined to get the game called off by continuously having players forced off allegedly through injuries, after manager Mohamed Ouda had already made all three substitutions.

But the game eventually resumed, with Contractors completing the game with their nine men on the pitch – with Ahly apparently looking content not to score further goals in the final stages.

Ahly remain top with 68 points after restoring their eight-point lead over second-placed and defending champions Zamalek with four matches remaining, while Contractors lie 14th on 34.

Zamalek said they would withdraw from the competition in protest at the dismissal of the two Contractors players. The White Knights are scheduled to face ENPPI on Thursday.

Contractors play with seven men

The match kicked off with Ahly expectedly in control, and it was just two minutes on the clock when Moemen Zakareya hit a volley wide from inside the area following an Ahmed Fathi cross from the right.

The tempo then dropped down till the 21st minute, which saw Ahly take the lead through Evouna as the game took a completely turning point.

For the goal, credit goes to playmaker Abdallah El-Said, whose brilliant turn in front of the opposition's box was followed by a powerful strike parried by the keeper, with Evouna scoring on the rebound in an otherwise clumsy fashion.

The opener seemed to have sparked uproar from Contractors players, who were allegedly calling for the goal not to stand on the grounds that keeper Mahmoud Aboul-Saoud should have been given a foul after colliding with Evouna.

The result was the sending off of ex-Zamalek and Ismaily striker Ali and left-back 'Mody', with Contractors forced to play nearly 70 minutes with eight outfielders.

And it was not long till Evouna doubled his side's lead, with this time winger Soliman unlucky to see his looping effort bounce off the woodwork, with the Gabon striker on hand to score his side's second on the rebound from point-blank range.

The ex-Wydad hitman then turned from scorer to provider, this time crossing for Zakareya who expertly headed home his side's third from inside the area in the 68th minute.

With Contractors now looking helpless against the league leaders, it seemed that the hosts were intentionally feigning injury every once in a while after making all three substitutions in an attempt to get the game called off.

Despite reaching a point where Contractors had only six men on the pitch, with the referee seemingly consulting with his assistants the possibility of ending the game at 3-0, the home side came back to resume the game.

Curiously, players who were apparently forced off through injury, as full-back Ahmed Ali and midfielder Mohamed Shaaban, started returning to the pitch, implying that they were not seriously suffering injuries.

Ahly looked keen in the latter stages to continue the game till the end, moving the ball around aimlessly without really attempting to threaten their opponents till the official finally blew the final whistle.

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