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Ahly miss chance to close gap on Zamalek after Cairo Derby draw

Ahly were held to a 0-0 draw by Zamalek, allowing the latter to maintain a six point lead at the top

Thursday 30 Dec 2010
Ahly & Zamalek
(Photo: Reuters)
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 Ahly missed the chance to close the gap at the top of the Egyptian Premier League table, only managing a scoreless draw against Zamalek on Thursday in the Cairo Stadium in a postponed game from Day 12 of the League.

The six-time defending champions dominated possession but lacked the creativity to break through the Whites' disciplined defence.

Despite a recent dip in form, it was a more determined Reds side that took on the game tonight. They looked lively and dynamic against a young opponent.

Zamalek had the first chance on goal when Hazem Emam intercepted a through ball, but Sherif Abdel-Fadil cleared it before he could strike. The hosts reacted with a powerful shot from Abdel-Fadil, but it bounced off the post.

Sweeper Hossam Ghaly had the closest chance when he headed from inside the box, but again it missed the target.

The Whites’ coach Hossam Hassan switched his strategy from a 4-3-3 to a 4-3-2-1 in order to bounce back in the game, his players outshone by their highly rated opponents.

However, Ahly maintained their supremacy and Ahmed Fathy, Sayed Moawad and Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ had shots on goal but nothing that worried Zamalek’s keeper Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed.

Feeling the heat, Hassan had again to strengthen his defence and pulled off his talisman Mahmoud Abdel-Razek ‘Shikabala’ — who has been under control of Ahly’s defence and failed to produce any of his dazzling tricks — for defensive midfielder Ahmed Tawfik.

The Reds kept pushing as time wore down and coach Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Shafy brought in more attacking options with Mostafa Selim ‘Afroto’ and Ahmed Shoukry coming off the bench.

Despite all their efforts, the deserved goal was simply not coming and both sides shared the points of the game.

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