November 5, 2012 / 5:08 AM / in 5 years

Al Ahli equalise late in Champions League final

ALEXANDRIA (Reuters) - Substitute Al Sayed Hamdi scored four minutes from time to earn hosts Al Ahli a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the African Champions League final against holders Esperance on Sunday.

Hossam Ghaly of Egypt's Al Ahli (L) fights for the ball with Yannick N'Djeng of Tunisia's Esperance Sportive during their African Champions League (CAF) final soccer match at Borg El Arab "Army Stadium" west of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, 230 km (143 miles) north of Cairo, November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Esperance, who had gone in front through Walid Hichri in the 49th minute, will still be the favourites going into the second leg in Tunis on November 17.

Sunday’s game represented the first time that home fans were allowed in to watch Egyptian giants Al Ahli since 74 people died in a stadium riot in Port Said in February.

Officials allowed a limited crowd of 15,000 for Sunday’s first leg but moved the game from Cairo to the port city of Alexandria.

Al Ahli, who have kept themselves competitive on a diet of friendly matches and training camps, missed several scoring chances against Esperance.

The Egyptians have lifted a record six Champions League titles while Esperance won for the second time last year.

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