Egyptian champions Al Ahly resumed their season with a nervy 2-0 over Enppi on Sunday at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo.
After a dominant first half which ended goalless, the hosts upped the tempo in the second half and were rewarded with two goals to secure victory.
Despite boasting some of the best attacking talent in Africa, Al Ahly’s goals both came from unlikely sources: two defenders. Right-back Mohamed Hany and left-back Ali Maaloul scored in the 64th and 95th minutes respectively to earn the defending champions a 17th win in 18 games.
Victory meant the league leaders stretched their unbeaten, albeit disrupted, start to the season to 18 matches.
The win also saw Al Ahly move to 52 points and extend its lead at the top of the Egyptian Premier League. Enppi, meanwhile, remained 7th with 25 points from 19 games.
In the day’s other game, Misr Lel Makassa edged Aswan S.C. 2-1 at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.
Makassa raced into a 2-0 lead in the second half courtesy of an own goal by Abdallah El Sanghawy and a strike from Salah Rico. Karim El Tayeeb netted a consolation shortly after Makassa’s second goal for a 2-1 final score.
The result propelled Misr Lel Makassa from 17th (second from bottom) to 14th on 17 points, a point and a place below their opponents. Three games are lined up on Monday: Haras El Hoodod plays El Masry while Pyramids play Tanta and Al Ittihad hosts Zamalek.