Al Ahly wasted more than a dozen scoring chances and ended up suffering a stunning 3-2 loss to Smouha despite coming close to staging a remarkable comeback in an exciting Egyptian Premier League game in Alexandria on Wednesday.
The Red Devils had 34 shots on target and missed some glorious opportunities while a clinical Smouha side hit them on the break to go 3-0 up against their illustrious opponents, with on-loan striker Marwan Hamdi in inspired form.
Hamdi, who was often called up to Egypt’s squad under former coach Carlos Queiroz, opened the scoring after nine minutes following a fine individual effort, making the most of a sloppy pass from Ahly defender Rami Rabia.
Rabia was at fault again as Moroccan winger Abdelkabir El Ouadi doubled Smouha’s lead on the stroke of halftime.
The third, scored right after kick-off in the second half, was a sublime individual effort from Hamdi, who capitalized on another mis-placed pass and ran half the length of the pitch to fire home, having held off several defenders in the process.
Ahly continued to create chances at will though while Hamdi twice missed from one-on-one situations at the other end to miss out on what would have been a memorable hat-trick.
Winger Taher Mohamed finally scored for Ahly on 59 minutes and substitute Hossam Hassan added another four minutes into stoppage time but it was too little, too late as the team suffered their second defeat of the season after they lost 1-0 to Masry in April.
New manager Ricardo Soares, who is expected to be officially unveiled on Thursday, will lead the team in their next league match against Gouna. Caretaker coach Sami Komsan is likely to be retained in the backroom staff.
Ahli missed the chance to trim the gap on second-placed Pyramids and leaders Zamalek.
They lie third on 44 points, five behind Pyramids and seven adrift of Zamalek, although the latter duo played three games more. Smouha moved level with fourth-placed Future FC on 39 points.