Sub saves Ahly in first leg of African final
November 4, 2012 -- Updated 2238 GMT (0638 HKT)
The 2011-12 Egyptian revolution thrust an unlikely group of young people into the country's political conscience: organized groups of soccer fans called "ultras."
Red is the color
V for Vendetta
Ring of steel
The tragedy of Port Said
Remembering the 74
Song for the dead
Road to Brazil?
The road to the final
- First leg of African Champions League final ends in 1-1 draw in Egypt
- Titleholders Esperance take the lead through defender Waleed Hichri
- Substitute striker El-Sayed Hamdy equalizes late ahead of trip to Tunisia
- Match was played in Alexandria not Ahly's Cairo ground due to ongoing security fears
(CNN) -- Egyptian soccer club Al Ahly snatched a late equalizer against Tunisia's titleholders Esperance on Sunday to leave the African Champions League final in the balance.
The Cairo club will travel to Tunis for the second leg on November 17 thankful for the 88th-minute leveler from substitute El-Sayed Hamdy, who canceled out a valuable away goal by Waleed Hichri.
The match was played at an army stadium near Alexandria due to the security problems faced since 74 fans died in February's Port Said tragedy during a match involving Al Ahly and Al Masry.
Some 20,000 spectators were allowed to attend -- only the second time since the deaths that a match in Egypt has not been played behind closed doors.
Al-Masry fans chase Al-Ahly players during riots that erupted after the football match.
Scores dead in Egypt soccer riot
Inside Port Said stadium
After a 1-1 draw with Gabon in the first leg, Togo's fans were hopeful of reaching January's Africa Cup of Nations ahead of Sunday's second leg.
Africa Cup of Nations playoffs
Read more: Egyptian ultras seek justice for deaths
The Egyptian league has been suspended since February as the club's militant fans -- known as "ultras" -- have promised to disrupt matches in protest against the lack of action taken by the authorities. An inquiry into the Port Said deaths is ongoing.
A minute's silence in honor of the dead preceded a goalless first half on Sunday, but Esperance took the lead five minutes after the break when Tunisia international defender Hichri netted from Khalil Chamam's corner.
Al Ahly, in the final for the first time since 2008's record sixth title success, were denied by a superb point-blank save by goalkeeper Ben Chrifia until Ahmed Fathy set up striker Hamdy.
"I'm satisfied with that draw, the match was very difficult so it felt like a win for us today," Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry told reporters.
"The performance of Ahly players tonight was affected by the long football stoppage in Egypt. It was also difficult for us to arrange friendly games lately."
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
After a miserable Champions League defeat to Olympiakos, CNN's John Sinnott wonders if Manchester United is officially in trouble.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
CNN's David Ford analyzes the changing face of Manchester City since Barcelona's last visit to the English club 11 years ago.
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
A ruling that Polish fans will not face legal action after anti-Semitic chanting sparks debate over whether it signals acceptance of such attacks.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
If FIFA really cared about gay rights, why did it give the World Cup to a country where homosexuality is illegal, asks CNN's James Masters.
CNN's Alex Thomas takes a brave punt on the 2014 champion ahead of Friday's World Cup draw.
Today's five most popular stories