Egypt’s Zamalek are facing the prospect of early African Champions League elimination after they needed a late goal to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Ethiopia’s Saint George in the first leg of the competition’s round of 16 on Saturday.
In a match played behind closed doors at Cairo’s Air Defence Stadium, Saint George took a surprising lead three minutes past the hour mark when Umed Ukuri pounced on a defensive howler to fire home following a bursting run.
Burkinabe striker Abdoulaye Cisse, who was introduced in the second half, levelled the score with eight minutes remaining but the visitors survived a late onslaught to claim a valuable draw.
Five-time African champions Zamalek, who last won the Champions League in 2002, will need to win away from home in a fortnight to reach the group stage and avoid a surprising elimination.
The White Knights had to do without their fans after Egyptian authorities imposed a crowd ban in the wake of recent disturbances in continental and regional games for Zamalek, Ahly and Ismaily. Read more
Video:Ã‚Â Umed Ukuri scoring for St. George
Video: Abdoulaye Cisse scoring the equalizer