CAIRO: Ismaili came back from a goal down to tie Zambia’s Green Buffaloes 1-1 in Lusaka and advance to the CAF Confederation Cup round of 16 on Saturday.
After grabbing a narrow 2-1 home victory in the first-leg, Ismaili were on the verge of a stunning elimination after Buffaloes striker Sebastian Mwansa opened the score line two minutes before the break.
However, Mohamed Mohsen Abou-Greisha came to Ismaili’s rescue ten minutes after the hour mark to save the blushes of French boss Patrice Neveu.
The hosts had an early chance to break the deadlock after two minutes when Sydney Tembo’s header went just over the bar.
Ismaili then had the upper hand in terms of possession but failed to pose any threat in a lacklustre first-half.
Buffaloes took advantage of Ismaili’s below-par form to notch the opener in the 43rd minute through Mwansa.
Morgan Hanjema capitalized on Hani Saied’s blunder to go clear on goal but keeper Mohamed Sobhi intercepted to block the ball into the path of Mwansa, who nodded in easily.
Ismaili pushed forward in the second-half searching for the equalizer, leaving many gaps in the backline to give Buffaloes the chance to launch a wave of attacking attempts.
Left-back Sayed Moawad should have leveled the score when he latched on to Omar Gamal’s brilliant chip but failed to deliver from close range.
Abou-Greisha salvaged the precious draw in the 70th minute with a simple tap-in after being set-up by a low cross from Hosni Abd-Rabou, who had been released in the left flank through Abdullah Saied’s through pass.