Al Ahly, AS Vita play to stalemate in a four-goal thriller


Defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt and Congolese side AS Vita Club provided a spectacle at the Cairo International Stadium as the two sides played out to a thrilling 2-2 draw in a Total CAF Champions League Group A match on Saturday.

Vita Club keeper Simon Omossola literally kept his side in the game with save after save until the 69th minute when his rear was breached, Ahly coming from behind to tie the game and go into the lead within a span of two minutes.

Glody Makabi had given the visitors the lead after 41 minutes but Ahly rallied back, Mohamed Sherif equalizing and Marwan Mohsen stepping off the bench to score the second three-two minutes later.

However, Ahly’s hopes of bouncing back from their loss away to Simba was thwarted with 10 minutes remaining after Ricky Tulenge converted from the penalty spot 10 minutes to time.

Omossola was the difference in the entire opening half dominated by the Red Devils. He made a smart save in the 11th minute, parrying away a well angled diving header from Magdy Afsha off a cross from the left.

The Egyptian midfielder was at the heart of most Ahly chances and he had another opportunity three minutes later, this time a cutback finding him unmarked inside the box but his shot slid just wide.

In the 31st minute, Omossola was well placed to easily pick out a header from Walter Bwalya after the Congolese rose to glance in a cross from Mohamed Hany. A minute later, the Cameroonian keeper was beaten for the first time by Amr Elsoulia’s bouncing shot, but Amede Masasi cleared the ball off the line.

Ahly had another chance in the 35th minute when Afsha’s cross into the box beat the keeper, but Bwalya was frustrated after seeing his connection come off against the upright.

Ahly ASV 2

The Egyptians had another brilliant opportunity when Hussein Elshahat was sent through on goal, but his stinging shot unmarked from the right was blocked by Omossola’s knees.

For all those missed chances, Ahly were duly punished when Vita got into the lead four minutes to the break. From the right, Makabi found some shooting space and belted out a low drive which Mohamed Elshenawy saved.

However, the Ahly defense was not quick enough to react to the rebound, the Congolese forward racing again to feed off the scraps and score with the keeper still on the ground.

Ahly ASV

Same script followed in the second half where Ahly dominated, but were kept off by the impressive Omossola. Bwalya had a chance to atone for his first half misses five minutes after the break, but once again he saw his low shot inside the box saved.

Four minutes later, Bwalya was provider this time, teeing the ball up for Elshahat but his shot from the edge of the box was well saved by the keeper. In the 62nd minute, the impressive Omossola was the difference once again, this time pushing Badr Benoun’s angled header from a freekick against the upright.

On the other end, Elshenawy made a brilliant one handed save to ensure Ahly remained within touching distance of the game, tipping behind Zemanga Soze’s brilliant effort on the volley.

Omossola was finally breached in the 69th minute when Sherif tapped the ball into an empty net after Junior Ajayi’s effort from the right hit the post and the ball fell kindly on his path.

Two minutes later, the Egyptians were ahead when substitute Marwan Mohsen jumped to side foot an Afsha cross into the net after he was left unmarked inside the danger area.

Ahly were now optimistic of picking maximum points at home but their hopes were dashed with 10 minutes to go when Tulenge converted from the penalty spot.