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Al-Ahly SC returns from Cameroon with a valuable draw

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Al-Ahly SC football team draws with Coton Sport de Garoua 1-1 in African Champions League semi-final

Mohamed Abu Trika celebrating his goal against Cameroonian side Coton Sport de Garoua  ( AFP PHOTO)

Mohamed Abu Trika celebrating his goal against Cameroonian side Coton Sport de Garoua

Al-Ahly SC football team drew with Cameroonian side Coton Sport de Garoua 1-1 in the game held in Omnisport Stadium in Garoua, Cameroon on Sunday.

The game was originally scheduled on Saturday, but was postponed by CAF, the African football governing body, due to a water-drained pitch after heavy rain. Only 25 minutes were left for the end of the game when the rain started, however CAF decided that the game should be postponed and will be played in full the next day. The score then was 0-0.

In the repeated game, the Cameroonian side opened the score when Emmanuel Mbongo swung past Al-Ahly defender Sherif Abdel Fadil and fired a strong shot from the edge of the box. The ball passed under goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy’s hands into the net in the 33rd minute.

The seven-time African champions pushed forward looking for a draw, as a header from Abdalla Al-Saeed in the 38th minute went off target.

In the 45th minute, Ahmed Fathi played a cross to Mohamed Abu Trika who was on the edge of the box. Abu Trika deftly headed the ball forward only to meet it with a right-footer on the edge of the six yard area, tying it up for Al-Ahly.

In the second half, the Cameroonian side pushed forward to avoid a draw that would decrease their chances in reaching the final.

Al-Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef interfered and substituted Abou Trika with Mahmoud Hassan “Trezeguet”, who is a defensive midfielder. The substitution proved vital in facing the Cameroonian raids.

Youssef was sent off after objecting to the Zambian referee’s decision to call seven minutes in stoppage time.

The return leg will be played in El-Gouna stadium on 20 October.

On the other semi-final match, South African powerhouses Orlando Pirates drew with Tunisian giants Espérance Sportive de Tunis in a goalless match held in South Africa.

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