Al Ahly qualify to CAF Champions League quarter-finals
Egypt’s Ahly survived a late scare in Sudan’s Omdurman to book their place in the African Champions League quarters following a tense 1-1 draw with Al-Hilal on Saturday.
Needing only a draw to advance, the game looked dead and buried when Magdi Afsha fired Ahly in front three minutes into the second half, silencing a passionate crowd.
Tensions boiled over with 15 minutes remaining as Al-Hilal players harangued the referee more than once. Two fans invaded the pitch and a barrage of projectiles were thrown onto the field, forcing a seven-minute stoppage as security forces formed a cordon around the officials and both teams.
When the game resumed, substitute Mahmoud Kahraba, who joined Ahly in January, could not find an open net after rounding the keeper and the glaring miss could have proved costly.
Deep in stoppage time, a rare defensive lapse allowed Al-Hilal to equalise, substitute Abdelrazig Omer stabbing home from close range after Abou Aagla lofted the ball over a static center back.
Al-Hilal had a goal correctly ruled out for offside at the death in a frenetic finale as Ahly breathed a sigh of relief after the final whistle, despite missing the chance to secure passage to the last eight as the group winners.
They instead finished second in their group with 11 points, one behind leaders Etoile Sahel who beat bottom side Platinum of Zimbabwe 2-0 in the other group match. Al-Hilal are third on 10 points, narrowly missing out on a quarter-final berth.