Ahli ensure leadership with narrow win at Production
الأحد، 20 ديسمبر 2009 - 19:19
كتب : Sherif Tarek
In-form striker Meteb hit the winner one minute from the half-hour mark when his curling free-kick hit the top right corner of the net.
The game saw Ahli goalie Ahmed Adel put in a scintillating performance to maintain a clean sheet and help his side claim all three points.
Although the Red Devils won the match, they were obviously affected by the absence of a number of their regulars and the compulsory dependence on youngsters.
Mohamed Abou-Treika, Mohamed Barakat, Moataz Eno and Hossam Ashour are all out of action with respective injuries.
Now defending champions and leaders Ahli are on 35 points, while closest rivals Petrojet, who were held to a 1-1 draw with Arab contractors on the same day, have 29 points.
The league will now be stopped until after Egypt's African Cup of Nations campaign in January.
The match was by bar an eventful affair, with both teams producing combative displays.
The hosts could have taken the lead when former Zamalek midfielder Mohamed Aboul-Ella came close to opening the scoring, but his effort went past the post.
Production controlled the game for a short while in terms of possession till Ahli broke the deadlock.
Ahmed Hassan was felled outside the area to earn a free-kick, which Emad Meteb converted to give Ahli a slender lead.
Ahli kept the upper hand afterwards but failed to double their lead.
Meteb was close to completing a brace when he was set up by Francis Doe, who whipped in a precise cross but the 26-year-old failed to divert it home.
In the second half, Production took a stronghold on the game, whereas Ahli became dangerous on the counter attack.
Ahli goalie Ahmed Adel, who's tipped to turn from a regular into a deputy keeper when Sherif Ekrami arrives at the Cairo club in January, prevented the home side from converting a host of clear-cut opportunities.
Mo'men Zakaria rifled a close-range shot, but Adel blocked it thanks to his amazing reflex, before parrying another follow-up effort.
Shortly afterwards, Adel inhibited Production from restoring parity once again when he spectacularly blocked a Hassan Mousa point-blank header.
Midway through the second period, Meteb made way for Ahmed Shokri, whom coach Hossam Al-Badri sent into battle in an attempt to inject zeal and reduce the domination of Tarek Yahia's team.
Gilberto, who has recently recovered from a severe flu, was taken off after producing a lackluster display. Sayed Moawad, who has overcome a groin injury of late, replaced him.
Production's Abou Kone tried to volley the ball from close range, but he was one step behind to overshoot the ball.
Liberian hitman Doe came one-on-one with the goalie twice in the dying minutes, but his poor finishes were saved on both occasions.
The finale saw both teams carve out a number of scoring chances, but no more goals were scored.
Fully-fit keeper Adel sustained a facial injury after colliding with a challenger in the area. He was briefly treated on the pitch as he was bleeding from the nose and mouth.
After the final whistle, he fell down with his shirt stained with blood.