Morocco/Egypt: Wydad Stay Top, Ahly Earn First Point

Egyptian giants Al Ahly earned their first point at the group stage courtesy a barren draw with visiting Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco on Saturday in Alexandria.

The Red Devils once again paid the price for the profligacy in front of goal as Wydad maintained their unbeaten run at this stage as well as their place at the summit of the standings.

The Casablanca-based side has seven points whilst Ahly rests at the bottom after bagging just a point from three games. Zambia’s Zesco United moved to six points after a 3-1 win over ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire in the other Group A match earlier in Ndola. The Ivorians are a place above the bottom with three points.

Ahly, record eight time winners, had the better of possession of the closely contested affair but also had to survive several some scary moments from the visitors in both halves.

The host, depleted by the absence of Gabonese Malick Evouna, who has joined Chinese side Tianjin Teda and Stoke City bound teenager Ramadan Sobhy, saw their tale of woes continue apace after striker John Antwi pulled out after an injury in the opening minutes, and Amr Soulia in his place.

After failing to make their dominance count, it was the Moroccans who almost broke the deadlock on 28 minutes through Ismail El Haddad, who was at the receiving end of a swift counter, but he chipped wide with Ahly goalie Amr Adel completely beaten.

Both teams resumed the second half on a blistering note with Ahly forwards Amr Gamal and Moamen Zakaria guilty of spurning chances.

On 69 minutes, Gabonese Fabrice Ondama, who was a thorn in the flesh of the Ahly backline, rounded Rami Rabia but the post was to Ahly’s mercy, with Adel beaten once again.

The closing stages saw Ahly come close to breaking the deadlock but Gamal, Walid Soliman and substitutes Saleh Gomaa and Emad Moteab failed to convert their chances.

Ahly travels next to Casablanca in a fortnight to face Wydad in a win or break encounter.

In Ndola, a goal each from Jackson Mwanza and John Chingandu gave Zesco a two-goal lead at half time. Youssouf Dao reduced the deficit for ASEC on 76 minutes before Idris Ilunga wrapped up victory two minutes later.

Fixtures

Group A

16.07.2016 Zesco United (Zambia) 3-1 ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire)

16.07.2016 Al Ahly (Egypt) 0-0 Wydad Club Athletic (Morocco)

Group B

17.07.2016 Zamalek (Egypt) vs Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

Source: Confederation of African Football.