Hassan Ali’s brilliant strike seven minutes from time handed Al Masry a precious 1-0 win over AS Otoho d’Oyo at the Al Masry Club Stadium in Port Said as the Egyptian side moved back top of Group C in the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup.
The victory at home helped Masry dislodge TP Mazembe from top spot, the Congolese side having earlier drawn 2-2 with Cotonsport in Garoua. Both sides have seven points.
The group remains open with two rounds of matches left with Otoho third on four points while Cotonsport are bottom with three points.
Otoho came into the tie knowing that a victory would place them at a brilliant position to battle for a place in the quarter finals and pressed Masry, searching for an opening goal to inject some confidence in their play.
But, the opening half did not yield goals.
Both sides stepped up in the second half and it was Masry who had the most chances. In the 54th minute, Elyes Jelassi forced the Otoho keeper to a full stretched save from a freekick. Seven minutes later, Amr Marei also had a chance when he controlled a cross inside the box but his shot flew over the bar.
Otoho managed to conjure a chance in the 71st minute when Michel Mvondo picked the ball inside the box, but he took a heavy second touch forcing him to hit the side netting from a tight angle.
Masry were playing the high line and pressing Otoho and they almost scored in the 73rd minute with Austin Amutu’s first touch of the ball, but his header went over.
They however snatched the winner in the 83rd minute when Hassan brilliantly struck the ball on the half volley after picking up a cross from Karim El Eraki’s good work on the right.
Masry calmly controlled the tempo of the game to preserve the lead and earn the points.