Egypt’s Al Masry scored in injury time to snatch a vital away 3-2 victory over hosts and debutants Nouadhibou in Nouakchott.
Both sides produced a brilliant display in the 2019-20 Total CAF Confederation Cup Group A opener which was a pleasure to watch, as the visitors snatched victory in the dying seconds.
Egypt’s Pyramids top the Group A with 3 points on goal difference over compatriots Al Masry, after playing to an away 3-1 win over Nigeria’s Rangers in Enugu earlier on Sunday. Nouadhibou and Rangers follow in that order pointless.
Visitors Al Masry finished the first half leading 1-0. Nigerian import Austin Amutu scored a brilliant header after 20 minutes to give the Port Said based side a lead that lasted till the break. But Nouadhibou returned stronger to score twice in five minutes via Bagili Babacar and Yassin Cheikh Elwelly and overturn the table over their experienced visitors.
But Amutu restored parity for Al Masry ten minutes later completing his personal brace. Karim El Iraqi made use of a swift counter attack to score the winner a minute into injury time to give Al Masry a crucial away victory.
Al Masry started the game on a high note and tried to score an early opener. They had the first goal after 20 minutes, when Libyan Moftah Taktak sent a calling cross from the right side that Amutu met with a diving header to give the visitors a lead they held on till the halftime.
But just after the break Nouadhibou found the equalizer. Skipper Abdoulaye Gaye sent a brilliant pass to Babacar who went one on one with Al Masry goalkeeper Ahmed Masoud to draw the hosts level just two minutes into the second half.
And it was two in quick succession for the Mauritanian Oranges. Gaye once again was the provider when his long pass was collected by Elwelly who rounded his marker and sent the ball home while Nouadhibou supporters went into wild celebrations after 53 minutes.
Al Masry fought back, and ten minutes later Amutu equalized when he received the ball, rounded his marker and sent a scorcher that Abdul Majid Ndiaye couldn’t stop to level matters yet again.
Excitement continued as both sides raided several attacks trying to snatch a late winner. Substitute Sidi Abdullah Touda fired a brilliant shot after 81 minutes that Masoud bravely saved to keep his side in the game.
And as everyone expected a share of spoils, El Iraqi who excelled recently with Egypt U-23 in the just concluded U-23 AFCON at home made use of a swift counter attack to seal the game for the visitors.