CAIRO: Petrojet were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Tunisian side Sfaxien in the first leg of the Confederation Cup third round on Sunday.
Lively playmaker Walid Soliman was unlucky not to put Petrojet ahead as early as the second minute when Sfaxien keeper superbly tipped over his fierce drive from the edge of the area.
The vulnerability of Petrojet’s defense helped the visitors grab the lead midway through the first half.
Petrojet keeper Ahmed Fawzi could only parry a shot into the path of Sfaxien’s energetic striker Hamza Younes, who slotted into the empty net to round off a neatly-worked counter attack.
The hosts piled on pressure to level the score, wasting a couple of decent opportunities through Soliman and Egyptian international forward Sayed Hamdi.
Soliman, a long-term target for Egyptian champions Ahly, capped his efforts with a precious goal four minutes after the restart.
He ran down the left flank to collect a threaded pass from wing-back Osama Mohamed and place a delightful curling shot in off the post.
Petrojet, who experience African football for the first time in their history after finishing third in the Egyptian Premier League last season, will have to defeat Sfaxien away from home in two weeks’ time if they are to avoid an early elimination.
They aim to finish second in the league this term to earn a place in the Champions League, Africa’s premier competition.
Cairo giants Zamalek lie second in the table on 48 points, three ahead of Mokhtar Mokhtar’s Petrojet, who have a game in hand.