Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly missed the chance to close the gap on log leaders Zamalek in the Egyptian Premier League after losing 1-0 to Ghazl El Mehalla.
The ‘Club of the Century’ faced the 11-placed side on Monday evening and had a chance to go within just one point of bitter rivals Zamalek on the log but suffered their second league defeat under Mosimane.
The visitors entered the game on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run, while Mosimane’s side were keen to find back to winning ways after their recent draw against El Gouna.
Al Ahly had their first notable chance after five minutes when Taher Mohamed’s shot from a tight angle was saved by opposition goalkeeper.
The hosts dominated proceedings for large parts of the first half but found themselves trailing after 35 minutes thanks to a long-range shot by Ashraf Mohamed Sayed.
Mosimane’s side thought they had a penalty just before half-time but the match official waved on.
‘Jingles’ responded with two changes at the break, with Walid Soliman and Mahmoud Walid replacing Taher Mohamed Ahmed Ramadan.
Al Ahly had a good chance immediately after half-time when Mohamed Sherif was brought down just outside the box. However, the following free-kick was shot over by Walid Soliman.
The CAF Champions League winners, though, struggled to create many good scoring opportunities while Mehalla remained dangerous on the counter.
Al Ahly kept on pushing for a goal but most shots didn’t threaten the Mehalla goalkeeper much.
There was a late penalty appeal after one of Al Ahly’s stars went down in the box, but the referee once again did not blow his whistle, even after reviewing the incident on the VAR screen.
Despite the defeat and winning just two of their last five league encounters, Al Ahly still have their fate in their own hands, as they sit four points behind Zamalek, having two games in hand.