Marwan Mohsen scored a second half equalizer as Egyptian giants Al Ahly scraped off for a point in a 1-1 draw against bottom side FC Platinum in a Total CAF Champions League Group B Day Four match in Bulawayo on Saturday.
Stanley Ngala had scored the opener for the Zimbabwean side in the first half, before the Egyptians roared back to get a point. Ahly are now on seven points and top the standings with their hopes of a place in the quarter finals very much alive.
Platinum on the other hand are almost out of the competition after picking their first point of the group stages, but with two matches to go, their mathematical chances of finishing in the top two and moving to the quarters are very slim.
Winless in their three previous matches, the Zimbabwean outfit was determined to get at least a victory and against a giant as Ahly who have won the Champions League eight times, they were not scared.
They knocked on the door from the first minute. Some good interchange of passes in the 14th minute saw William Stima break away on the right but with acres of space, his cross could only go as far as keeper Mohamed Elshenawy’s waiting arms.
A minute later, Perfect Chikwende delivered a perfect cross from the right which was poorly cleared by the Ahly backline, but Rainsome Pavary’s shot from the gifted ball was way off target.
They finally earned the goal in the 18th minute when Ngala simply directed the ball into the net from the edge of the six yard box after he stretched a foot into Pavary’s shot a few yards behind him.
Ahly were rattled and they began to attack with a bit of urgency. Junior Ajayi was denied with a point blank save by Platinum keeper Petros Mhari before Mohsen shot just over from distance with four minutes of the first half left to play.In the second half though, Ahly came back a different outfit and they were level just six minutes in when Mohsen tapped the ball home after Ajayi’s initial shot from the left was palmed away by Mhari.
But even when it seemed the momentum of the tie had swung Ahly’s way, the home side still had two good chances to score. Chikwende should have done better with a golden opportunity, but his shot from inside the box after outmuscling his markers went straight to Elshenawy’s arms.
In the 81st minute, the Egyptian number one made a brilliant save to keep his side in the game when he leaped strongly to his left to punch away Ngala’s scorching effort from 30 yards out.