Good form had brought El Masry up to a surprise top-3 position in the Egyptian Premier League, but The Green Eagles are being brought back to reality by the competitive field in the league with a 2-3 home defeat to last placed El Entag El Harby proving that there is no such thing as an easy match in Egypt’s top division. While third placed Al Ahly are certain to overtake Masry with numerous games to make up, the loss opens up the possibility of Smouha catching up to the club in a competitive battle for Egypt’s CAF Confedeation Cup qualification spot in third place.
It looked at various points in the first half that Masry would obtain the comfortable victory they were in search of but they allowed the relegation candidates to work themselves back into the match. A penalty kick was converted by Omar Kamal to open the scoring for the hosts in the 31st minute, but immediately El Entag El Harby pegged back with a splendid cross from Alaa Salama finding Tanzanian attacker Himid Mao Mkami for a precision header to beat Masry keeper Ahmed Massoud.
Masry could have stretched the lead beyond the visitors’ reach but Ahmed Gomaa missed a 38th minute penalty kick before the hosts finally got their go-ahead goal just before halftime, Islam Salah directing a cross home in first half stoppage time. El Entag El Harby then did brilliantly to take their chances after the break and get into the heads of their opponents, who certainly had chances to put the match away but failed to tally in the second half. The home defense failed to corral a speculative pass in the 69th minute and Harby’s Mostafa El Badry stole the ball before dispatching his opportunity with aplomb to tie the match back up.
Just when Masry were facing the disappointing reality of only getting one point at home, the news got worse for the hosts in the 84th minute. A run down the right flank turned into a shot from a tight angle that was deflected off the crossbar by Massoud before being turned in by Mahmoud Ragab in quick succession and Masry were left stunned as El Entag El Harby held on for a critical three points to give them hope in their attempts to escape relegation.
Highlights of the goals from the match are below followed by the goals from early match between El Gouna and Ceramica Cleopatra, which Gouna won 3-2 in a day of many goals in the Egyptian Premier League.