Ahly crush Pyramids 3-0 in top-of-table clash to move clear
Ahly moved two points clear on top of the table and with a game in hand after crushing Pyramids FC 3-0 in an exciting Egyptian Premier League clash at Cairo’s Al-Salam Stadium on Tuesday.
Pyramids tasted their first defeat of the season and only their second in eight meetings with Ahly as the Red Devils overtook them on the summit.
A first-half that yielded few opportunities ended goalless before ex-Pyramids playmaker Magdi Afsha broke the deadlock early in the second period, making the most of a mis-placed pass from former Ahly schemer Abdallah El-Said, a veteran Egyptian international.
Pyramids poured forward in search of an equaliser and spurned two clear-cut chances, including a low shot from El-Said that struck the post, but they were left vulnerable at the back and Ahly took full advantage to ensure the win with two late goals.
Substitute Amr El-Sulaya added the second with a delightful curler from 25 meters and striker Mohamed Sherif continued his recent resurgence with another goal in stoppage time following a mix-up between defender Ahmed Sami and goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy.
Ahly have 28 points from 10 games, two ahead of Pyramids who played 11. Defending champions Zamalek lie third on 25 points.
The win will boost Ahly’s morale before they meet South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns away from home in a vital Champions League clash on Saturday.
The first-half was evenly-balanced, with both sides pressing high from the outset and creating one goal-scoring chance apiece.
A ninth-minute half-volley from Afsha went just wide before Pyramids’ mercurial winger Ibrahim Adel missed a sitter after a fine piece of individual skill on 34 minutes.
He gathered a loose ball following a mistake from Malian midfielder Aliou Dieng to dribble past central defender Mohamed Abdel-Moneim and break clear, only to hit the side netting with only the keeper to beat.
In a more open second half, Afsha gave Ahly the lead in the 47th minute when he intercepted a wayward pass from El-Said on the edge of the area, skipped past Ali Gabr and sprinted away from Ekramy, who got a hand to his eventual shot but could not stop it from going in.
El-Said, trying to make up for his error, hit the post with a low shot at the other end and Omar Gaber’s angled, follow-up effort also came back off the outside of the other post.
Pyramids’ South African striker Fagrie Lakay was also guilty of a glaring miss on 75 minutes, with his close-range effort smothered by keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi before he blasted the rebound high over.
But Ahly also had some chances of their own, with Hussein El-Shahat’s far-post volley tipped over by Ekramy and Sherif drilling wide when well-positioned to score.
El-Sulaya killed off Pyramids’ hopes four minutes from time when fellow substitute Luis Miquissone slipped a pass to him and his brilliant first-time curler found the far top corner.
Sherif completed the rout three minutes into the additional time to take his tally to four goals in the last three games in all competitions, volleying into an empty net after defender Sami and Ekramy mis-judged a cross from Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul.