CAF Champions League holders Al Ahly kicked off their group phase campaign with a goalless draw away to Al Hilal in Omdurman on Friday afternoon.
Ahly played their first group stage match a week after all other sides as they were engaged in the FIFA Club World Cup. Away from home, Pitso Mosimane’s charges earned a point in hot Omdurman.
It was a tightly contested fixture with few chances, all far in between. The home side had the first go at goal early on in the game when Salah Eldin Al Hassan picked out Eid Mugadam with a pass inside the box, but the latter’s shot sailed straight to the keeper’s arms.
On the other end, Ahly also had a chance this time right back Mohamed Hany picking up the ball inside the box off a corner, but his shot was easily gathered by the keeper. Hany provided Ahly’s second chance 10 minutes to the break when he curled in a cross from the right, but Ahmed Mohamed’s header went over.
In the second half the tie was once again close. Seven minutes after the restart a long ball from deep in their half found the run of left back Aly Maaloul. However, his low cross inside the box with Mohamed Sherif waiting to tap in was punched away by the keeper.
In the 64th minute, Sherif had a chance at goal when substitute Mohamed Magdy Afsha headed the ball to his path, but the striker’s effort on the volley went over.
Despite some late pressure, neither of the two sides could break the deadlock.