Smouha almost wave Confederation Cup goodbye after home draw with ZESCO
Ahram Online , Friday 30 Jun 2017

Smouha have all but lost hopes for qualifying for the CAF Confederation Cup last-eight following a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Zambia’s ZESCO United at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium on Friday.

Both goals came late in the second half, with defender Yasser Ibrahim deflecting the ball into his own net, before Burkinabe forward Banou Diawara levelled the scoring from the spot just one minute into stoppage time.

The Alexandrians remain at the bottom of Group C with five points, one adrift of third-placed Recreativo and two behind Sudan’s Hilal El Obeid and ZESCO.

Hilal will take on Angola’s Recreativo on Saturday, with the latter entertaining Smouha in the last group game on July 8.

Two late goals

A dreary first half saw neither side mount a real threat on the goal, with Smouha coming close only after the hour-mark through striker Ahmed Raouf, who saw a header tipped over by the keeper.

Shortly after seeing a ball cleared off the line by a ZESCO defender, Smouha conceded on the subsequent counter-attack.

With forward Jesse Were capitalising on space down the left, an attempted clearance from Smouha midfielder Ahmed ‘Manga’ Nabil took a huge deflection off ex-Zamalek centre-back Ibrahim, as the visitors took the lead six minutes from regular time.

Manga was later at the center of an awarded penalty for Smouha in stoppage time after being adjudged by the ref to have tripped inside the area as he pointed to the spot.

Diawara made no mistake from 12 yards, opting to shoot into the middle of the net, but it was too little too late as Smouha almost waved goodbye the Confederation Cup from the group-stage.

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