Ahly forces draw at Coton Sport
The game was replayed on Sunday in Garoua after it was washed away 24 hours earlier at the same venue after 63 minutes of action.
It was scoreless on Saturday after a heavy storm halted proceedings but that is not how the first half went in which both goals came in the opening 45 minutes.
The game started on a slow and cautious note with little to separate the two sides before it ignited after the half hour mark.
Coton took the lead in the 33rd minute through Ewangue Mbongo who latched onto a long ball down the left before beating Abdul-Fadil to unleash a low strike at the near post under Sherif Ekrami.
A minute later, Ahmed Abdul-Zaher’s header was parried by the keeper Loic Feudjou before a Coton defender eventually cleared it off the line.
Al Ahly equalised dead on 45 minute through Mohamed Aboutreika from point black range to see the two sides go 1-1 into the break.
Coton dominated proceedings after the break that saw defender Boubba Aminou head narrowly wide in the 49th minute and on 52 minutes; Moussa Yedan fired his shot straight into Ekrami’s hands.
Aboutreika played no further part in the game after he was taken off in the 63rd minute and replaced by junior international Trezeguet.
A minute later Al Ahly coach Mohamed Yousef was sent off by Zambia referee Jan Sikazwe in unclear circumstances.
Coton Sport piled the pressure and Ekrami had to be at his best in the 72nd minute was called up to collect a long range shot as the defending champions camped into their own area.
However, Al Ahly made a late dash after the 86th minute and two minutes before fulltime Al Sayed Hamdi missed the target with the goal at his mercy as he blasted high.
The two sides meet in the return leg decider in Cairo on October 20.