Ahli held in season's opener
Mon, 13 Aug 2007 - 21:22
By: Karim Farouk
Champions Ahli were held to a 2-2 away draw by Masri on Monday in the 2007/2008 season's opener.
Mohamed Al-Hadidi chipped the ball over his own keeper to put Ahli ahead, 21, but Ahmed Galal leveled the score two minutes later before defender Ahmed Al-Sayed puts the ball in his own nets to give Masri the advantage.
Mohamed Abou Treika converted a Gilberto cross to clinch a point for the Reds at the end of the 90 minutes.
Masri showed a brilliant performance at the start of the season under the helm of their new coach Helmi Toulane who reshuffled the whole squad. Former Ahli midfielder Akwetey Mensah had the first sight of goal with a powerful shot.
Ahli's opening goal, after 21 minutes, came completely against the run of play. Moataz Eno played a long pass to Abou Treika behind the defense but Al-Hadidi, in a poor attempt of clearing the ball, sent it over his keeper into the nets.
The Reds maintained their advantage only for two minutes as Galal, a former Ahli striker also, sent in a rebound after Ibrahim Al-Hilali's shot was rejected by the post.
Benefiting of Ahli's shaky defense, Al-Hilali went through the backline and crossed the ball but this time defender Ahmed Al-Sayed converted it in his own nets to give Masri the lead in the 33rd minute.
The TV replay showed that Al-Hilali was offside when he first received the through ball.
Portuguese coach Manuel Jose Da Silva replaced Hossam Ashour with Anis Boujelbene in an attempt to revive his midfield.
Ahli came twice close from the equalizer as Abou Treika's free kick and Flavio's header were barely denied by some heroic saves from Ghanaian keeper George Owu.
The visitors took totally control of the game courtesy to a better physical condition. Jose sent in all his attacking options by bringing in Mohamed Barakat and Emad Meteb at the place of Moataz Eno and Osama Hosni respectively.
In the 77th minute Abou Treika connected with a perfect cross from left winger Gilberto to snatch the equalizer.