Al Ahly paid the price of some slack defending to draw 3-3 with Wydad Casablanca in the group stage of the CAF Champions League in Cairo.
A first-minute own-goal from Sherif Abdul-Fadil gave the visitors a perfect start, but Ahli replied instantly through Emad Meteb before Wael Gomaa gave his side the lead from the spot.
Mohsin Iajour restored parity in the 61st minute as Dominique da Silva put Ahli in the front seat once again, only for the Wydad striker to double his personal tally with a last-gasp equalizer.
Both teams couldn’t capitalize on Saturday’s draw between Esperance and MC Alger as the four teams remain tied on one point in Group B.
With Mohamed Barakat unavailable, Ahli started with a three-man frontline in Geddo, Dominique and Meteb.
The visitors couldn’t have wished for a better start as they found themselves ahead only seconds after kickoff, thanks to an error from Abdul-Fadil, who misjudged Ayoub El Khaliqi’s cross to convert the ball past the hapless Ahmed Adel.
But Ahli pegged back only three minutes later through Meteb, who fired home from eight yards after being set up beautifully by Dominique in the presence of some five opposition defenders.
Having the momentum by their side, the Egyptian champions were gifted a goal by defender Hicham El Omrani, who sloppily handled Sayed Moawad’s cross to concede the softest of penalties.
In the 22nd minute, Gomaa made no mistake from the spot to score his third penalty of the season and ease the tension after the shock start.
The referee brought a thrilling first half to an end, but the game was far from over for the Moroccans.
Wydad didn’t seem to be giving up after the break and proved they are no pushovers by scoring the second goal through striker Iajour.
The Morocco international notched in a fine volley past Adel as once again the positioning and marking of the Ahli defense was poor.
In the 71st minute, Ahli new signing Al-Sayed Hamdi came on for his debut at the expense of the ineffectual Geddo.
But it was the lively Dominique who restored the Reds’ lead after receiving a defense-splitting pass from Hossam Ghaly, muscling his way past the keeper and slotting home in an empty net on 75 minutes.
Shortly after the goal, Jose took off Dominique for Moataz Eno, but the defensive substitution hardly paid off as Wydad snatched the crucial equalizer with one minute remaining on the clock.
It was Iajour again who capitalized on a shambolic piece of defending from Abdul-Fadil to rob the Ahli sweeper of the ball and fire in a left-footed shot that was deflected in off the latter just above the body of Adel.
Surprisingly, Wydad took control after their equalizer and were closer to scoring a shock winner, but that was it at the Military Academy and the Moroccans have every right to be happy with the result.