An inspired effort from hosts Al-Merrikh brought the Sudanese club to within seconds of earning a CAF Champions League upset of Al Ahly, but the African and Egyptian champions came back to draw 2-2 with a last gasp goal from defender Yasser Ibrahim. Merrikh’s elimination from contention for a knockout stage spot is confirmed while defending CAFCL champions Ahly head into the final day of the group stage knowing they are through to the quarter-finals.
The hosts from Sudan were dominant in the opening half and more than earned their two goal lead going into halftime. Ramadan Agab opened the scoring in the 26th minute for Merrikh when he headed an aerial ball from Salaheldin Nemer perfectly into the corner past a stranded Mohamed El Shenawy in the Ahly goal.
It looked even worse for the visitors when on fire striker Saifeldin Bakhit ran onto an excellent through ball from Tony Edjomariegwe to slot his effort by El Shenawy to make it 2-0 by halftime. It should have been three but Ahly defender Badr Benoun was spared from embarrassment for his clumsy foul in the penalty area when Agab sent a penalty kick wide in first-half stoppage time.
The giants from Cairo did create their fair share of opportunities but looked uninspired and had no business getting any points from the match. However, Merrikh contributed to their own downfall with a clumsy challenge of their own that led to an Ahly penalty kick in the 81st minute. Benoun dispatched his effort to cut the Sudanese club’s lead in half. In the fourth minute of stoppage time the equalizer came from a short corner-kick that set up Mohamed Magdy to cross in for Ibrahim to head home and spark celebrations from the Ahly team.
Highlights are below.