CAIRO: Ittihad Alexandria held Zamalek to a 1-1 draw in the Egyptian League on Wednesday in an ill-tempered game that saw three players from both sides sent-off.
Referee Medhat Abdel Aziz awarded each side a penalty kick and handed up red cards to Amr Al-Safti and Mahmoud Abdel “Shikabala Razeq from Zamalek and Ittihad s Mahmoud Sobhi.
The draw means Zamalek s hopes to reach the African Champions League were shattered.
The Whites now have 31 points from 18 games, one point behind second-placed Petrojet, who still have a match in hand.
Al-Gaish and Ismaili have 31 and 30 points respectively and both sides played two games less than Zamalek.
Only the champions and the runners-up qualify to play in Africa s premier club competition.
Abdel Halim Ali scored a debatable goal to give Zamalek the lead in the 32nd minute before Hossam Abdel Moneim leveled midway through the second period.
Ali slotted home from close range after Beshir Al-Tabie s shot fell into his path.
Ittihad players and their manager Taha Basri protested the goal as the international striker seemed to have scored from an offside position.
Television replays proved that he was covered by an Ittihad defender.
Ali had the chance to double the lead when he stepped up to take a spot kick after Gamal Hamza was clipped inside the area.
But Ittihad goalie Essam Mahmoud blocked Ali s poor shot to keep the game alive.
In the 76th minute, Zamalek left-back Tarek Al-Sayed fouled Rami Saied in the box and Abdel Moneim s classy shot beat penalty-stopping specialist Mohamed Abdel Monsef.
Tempers flared following Ittihad s equalizer, with Sobhi and Shikabala collecting their second cautions of the game to receive their marching orders.
Al-Safti was shown a straight red card.