28 Aug

Zamalek, Ahly draw derby

first_imgHolders Al Ahly need a second half penalty to come from behind for a 1-1 draw with arch rivals Zamalek in the African Champions League on Wednesday as supporters defied a behind closed doors ban to watch the much-anticipated clash.Veteran Mohamed Aboutrika equalised in the 54th minute from the spot after Zamalek had taken a surprise early lead.A goalmouth scramble saw Zamalek have three attempts at goal after Ahly goalkeeper Sherif El Akrami spilled a free kick before Ahmed Gaafar blasted the ball home from close range in the eighth minute.Fans from both clubs defied security officials to add a lively atmosphere to the match, the first of the group phase for both clubs.There was a persistent firing of fire crackers and smoke bombs but in something of a carnival atmosphere.Egyptian press reports said an agreement was reached with fan groups before kick-off to allow spectators in despite a ban imposed by security officials, fearful the potentially volatile encounter could spark fresh violence in Egypt. The tie, the first for both clubs in Group A, had originally been scheduled for Alexandria on Sunday but moved to the remote Red Sea resort of El Gouna, where the stadium has place for only 5 000 spectatorsThe move to El Gouna meant a late afternoon kick off because of a lack of floodlights, drawing criticism as the players are fasting in the Moslem holy month of Ramadan.Egyptian authorities have already cancelled all football since the army’s ousting of president Mohamed Morsi earlier this month but allowed the two clubs, who have a passionate following in the Arab world, to continue participating in the Champions League.last_img

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