CAIRO: Ahly were held at home to a 1-1 draw by a combative Masri side in a pulsating Egyptian Premier League match on Tuesday.
Masri, who were bolstered by a number of newcomers in the summer, put in a praiseworthy performance that could have earned them a precious win.
Abdoulaye Cisse fired the visitors ahead only after ten minutes but Geddo hit the equalizer seven minutes from the interval to break his Ahly scoring duck.
Ahly striker Mohamed Fadl made his return after a relatively lengthy layoff but was clearly affected by the calf injury he had sustained last month.
The Red Devils piled up pressure upfront late in the game, trying to snatch a last-gasp winner but to no avail.
Defending champions Ahly are now in fifth place with five points from three matches. Masri lie eighth with four from as many games.
The presence of controversial fan firm ‘Ultras Ahlawy’ was quite felt in the stands as they supported the Cairo giants incessantly.
The radical fan group boycotted Ahly’s matches for a while after they fiercely clashed with security forces during a pre-season friendly.
They got back to egging on the six-time African champions after the club’s officials called for their return.
The match was an exciting affair right from the very beginning, with both sides looking for an early goal.
Ahly’s first chance fell to Fadl when he latched onto a silky pass from Mohamed Abou-Trika, who was instrumental in helping his team’s front-men.
Fadl was in a perfect position to score but was particularly sluggish and was eventually nutmegged.
Mohamed Barakat could have broken the deadlock shortly afterwards with a close-range volley that went high over.
Despite the hosts’ dominance, Masri were the team who took the lead.
Abdul-Hakim’s Dribbling Skills
Mahmoud Abdul-Hakim, who’s renowned for his dazzling dribbling skills, showed a glimpse of his capabilities when he created the opener.
The former Petrojet ace deftly bamboozled Mohamed Shawky inside the area before sending a low cross that Burkina Faso hitman Cisse diverted home.
The in-form Abdul-Hakim wreaked havoc down the left flank with his tireless running throughout the match.
His talent came in handy in the second half too, he was unlucky though.
The agile 32-year-old eluded a couple of challengers to penetrate the area but his flashing drive was agonizingly denied by the crossbar on the hour mark.
Geddo Opens Account
Ahly were a bit shaken after conceding the opening goal but got their act together after a short while. Their summer signing Geddo brought the score level and proved his worth later on.
Geddo opened his Ahly account with a follow-up effort, when Fadl’s powerful header hit the bar and the ground before falling in the path of the Egypt star, who slotted into an empty net from point-blank range.
Ahly stepped up the match’s tempo in the last five minutes of the first half and remained superior after the break, with Geddo trying to set up a winner.
The former Ittihad man flicked the ball to Barakat near the target but the latter’s shot wastefully swerved wide.
Fadl squandered another clear-cut opportunity when Geddo sent him a low cross near the six-yard box only to see the off-form striker miss the target by a mile.
Abou-Trika went one-on-one with the guardian but his low shot hit the post 12 minutes from time.