Ahly were held to a goalless draw by Masry in a league game at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab stadium on Thursday. As a result, Ahly kept their place on the top of the league table with 31 points, four ahead of second-placed Future FC and five clear of third-placed Zamalek.
The Red Devils failed to capitalise on Wednesday’s results that saw Future FC tie with Pyramids, and Zamalek draw with Ittihad of Alexandria. Ahly squandered a chance to move seven points clear off Zamalek ahead of the Cairo derby set to be played on Saturday 21 st January.
Ahly started the game in style to have an early lead, with Mohamed Sherif missing a golden chance in the tenth minute.
The out-of-form striker was on the rebound for a poor clearance from Masry keeper Mahmoud Gad. Having the goal at his mercy, Sherif shot from the edge of the area went wide.
Ten minutes later Masry striker Marwan Hamdi cleared Mohamed Grindo whose close-range effort was denied by Ahly Keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi with a heroic save.
Masry were close to open the scoring, four minutes after the break, but Abderrahim Deghmoum’s curling shot hit the crossbar.
Ahly responded one minute later with Mohamed ‘Afsha’ Magdi and Hussein El-Shahat went clear but the latter’s shot went inches from the bar.
Swiss coach Marcel Koller made three substitutions on the stroke of the hour-mark to inject fresh blood into the team, especially in the front line, with Ahmed Abdel-Qader, Shadi Hussein and Rami Rabia replacing Bruno Savio, Mohamed Sherif and Yasser Ibrahim respectively.
Abdel-Qader had the chance to put Ahly ahead in the 72 nd minute, but his shot, which followed a wonderful one-two pass with Shadi Hussein, was blocked by Masry keeper.
Ahly kept attacking without posing any real threat until Hamdi Fathi’s header from a close range went wide in the dying minutes.
Ahly will face Smouha on Tuesday in the Egypt Cup semi-final of the last season before facing Zamalek four days later in the Cairo derby.