CAIRO: Harras Hodoud lost hopes of earning a historic Champions League qualification after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Gaish in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday.
Amer Sabri stunned the home crowd on the quarter hour mark but Hodoud s right-back Islam Al-Shater scored his first goal this season to secure a share of spoils midway through the second half.
Hodoud laid siege to Gaish s area late in the game but failed to notch a decisive goal that could have kept close to the top.
The Egyptian Cup winners, who have two matches remaining, are third in the league table on 50 points, seven behind joint leaders Ahly and Ismaili.
Hodoud will now settle for a place in the Confederation Cup for the third season running.
Gaish had to play without their regular strikers Ernest Papa Arko, the league s top scorer, and Dodzi Dogbe due to suspension, as coach Farouk Gaafar fielded Salah Amin as a lone frontman.
Amin, who has scored three goals since his arrival last summer, had a hand in Gaish s opener after 15 minutes.
The 27-year-old nipped in between his markers to send a low shot that was parried by Mathurin Kameni into the path of midfielder Sabri, who slotted into an empty net.
Gaish had to thank keeper Gharib Hafez for keeping their lead intact.
He superbly tipped Ahmed Abdel-Ghani s curling free-kick from underneath the bar on 26 minutes.
Hodoud coach Tarek Al-Ashri introduced veteran striker Abdel-Hamid Bassiouni instead of the ineffective Ahmed Salama to support Abdel-Ghani upfront.
Bassiouni rejuvenated Hodoud s attack but wasted two clear-cut opportunities to restore parity.
The former Zamalek man sent a free header over the bar and shot wide with the goal at his mercy shortly afterwards.
Al-Shater was fortunate to equalize in the 67th minute when his attempted cross from the left flew past the motionless Hafez.
Hodoud pushed forward to score the winner but their efforts were thwarted by Gaish s tight defense.