The Nigerian representatives had to come back from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw in Ijebu-Ode on SaturdayIt took until the 86th minute before Sunshine Stars, Nigerian representatives in the 2012 Caf Champions League, literally came back from the dead to earn a 3-3 draw with Al Ahly of Egypt in the first leg of the semi-final played at the Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu-Ode.
The Egyptian record Champions League winners drew the first blood in the 18th minute through their Egyptian national striker, Mohamed Nagy Ismaila whose speculative shot from outside the box beat Moses Ocheje in goal for Sunshine
Ahly added the second 12 minutes later through Mahdy El Sayed and at that point, the Nigerians seemed lost for what to do to counter the Egyptian offensive.
But their Cameroonian import, Medrano Tamen pulled them back in the 34th minute when he scored with a terrific curler from the edge of the box and at that stage to halve the deficit and give the Akure Gunners a fighting chance in the encounter.
At that stage Coach Ogunbote made two quick changes. He replaced underperforming Izu Azuka with Dele Olorundare and in the 43rd minute, Adeniyi Alaba replaced Dayo Ojo but the first half ended with Ahly in the lead.
The second half started with Sunshine showing more urgency but Ahly held their lines and played on the counter. Sunshine continued to pressurise and got their due reward when they were awarded a penalty in the 72nd minute. Olorudare stepped up to make the game 2-2.
The momentum was now with Sunshine but their attacking fervour was punctured two minutes after the equaliser when Ahly hit on the counter attack and scored through Nagy Ismaila to give Ahly the lead again.
Sunshine fought back and got a deserved equaliser in the 86th minute through Precious Osasco. Sunshine could not push on to get the winner and the match is now delicately poised for the second leg where Sunshine will have to throw the kitchen sink at Ahly to get a favourable result. The second leg comes up in Cairo on November 16.