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Coronavirus-hit Ahly held to 0-0 draw by disciplined Degla
Published in Ahram Online on 01 - 01 - 2021

Ahly, missing a host of regulars due to COVID-19 infections and injuries, had their winning start stopped by a disciplined Wadi Degla side following a 0-0 draw in the Egyptian Premier League on Friday.
The Red Devils found it hard to break down a well-drilled Degla defence and when they did, veteran goalkeeper Mohamed Abdel-Monsef was on hand to smother their efforts.
The 43-year-old shot-stopper pulled off some fine saves in the second half to keep Ahly at bay as the Red Devils were held to their first draw of the season after comprehensive wins over Maqassa, Ghazl El-Mahalla and Ittihad.
The defending champions dropped to second in the table with 10 points, one behind leaders Gouna who played a game more. Degla lie 10th with five points from four matches.
Ahly had to do without the likes of in-form winger Mahmoud Kahraba, playmaker Magdi Afsha and holding midfielder Amr El-Sulaya, with the absences clearly affecting their normal vibrant attacking display.
They had some half chances in the first half, with experienced winger Walid Soliman hitting the side netting with a low shot and Salah Mohsen heading over the bar following a deep cross from Hussein El-Shahat.
Degla's only sight of goal came when Colombian striker Diego Calderon had his angled shot saved by Ahly keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi.
In fast-paced second half, Ahly went close on several occasions, with Abdel-Monsef tipping over a powerful volley from Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul and diving to his right to keep out what would have been an own goal from Degla defender Khaled Reda.
Abdel-Monsef also palmed away an angled volley from Ahly's Moroccan defender Badr Benoun, who was found unmarked at the far post.
Despite Ahly's dominance, Degla could have snatched a famous win when winger Jorginho fired over the bar when well-positioned to score following a counter attack. However, they will still be content to share honours with their illustrious opponents.
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