Mayuka saves Zamalek on stoppage-time against USM Alger | VIDEO
Egypt’s Zamalek remained on top of their African Champions League group after late drama, with forgotten striker Emmanuel Mayuka scoring in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to USM Alger in a thrilling clash on Friday.
The 5,000 supporters who were allowed to attend the match at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium went into raptures four minutes into the added time when Mayuka capitalized on a dreadful blunder by USM keeper Mohamed Zemmamouche to slot into an empty net and break the hearts of the brave Algerians.
The Zambian striker, mocked by many fans for being over-weight amid reports he would be offloaded in the summer, was thrown in the fray in the second half as Portuguese coach Augusto Inacio desperately tried to break down a dogged defense.
USM’s breakaways could have well killed off the match before then and they were also harshly denied what looked a clear penalty and a valid goal.
They stunned the home crowd on the half-hour mark when Farouk Chafai made the most of some slack marking to side-foot home a free kick.
After Zamalek equalized, lone striker Bassem Morsi seemed to have snatched a precious winner in an exciting finale but his effort was correctly ruled out for offside.
The White Knights, who reached the final last season but lost to South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 on aggregate, are still on top of Group B with five points from a win and two draws, one ahead of USM and Ahli Tripoli, who defeated Zimbabwe’s Caps United (three points) 4-2 earlier in the day.