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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Zamalek's coach Vieira plays down significance of first league defeat

Jorvan Vieira says it's only natural that Zamalek lose after setting a club record for the best league start

Ahram Online, Friday 10 May 2013
Zamalek
Zamalek's coach Vieira (Photo: Bassam Al-Zoghby)
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Zamalek coach Jorvan Vieira has played down the significance of the team's first Egyptian Premier League defeat this season after they lost 2-1 to Petrojet on Thursday.

The Cairo side set a club record for the best league start after beating Dakhleya last month for their 10th consecutive victory but their winning streak came to an end at the hands of Petrojet.

A resolute Petrojet side scored in stoppage time to claim all three points after Zamalek's in-form Burkinabe striker Abdoulaye Cisse cancelled out Mohamed Koffi's first-half opener.

"That day would have come anyway. We have some injuries but this is no excuse," Brazilian boss Vieira told the post-match news conference.

"This defeat will not ruin what we did this season, and I will not give detractors the chance to destabilize the team," he added in a swipe at journalists.

Zamalek are favourites to end a nine-year league drought after producing a string of impressive displays characterized by a solid defence and a potent attack force masterminded by promising playmaker Mohamed Ibrahim.

They lie on top of Group B of the league's new format with 30 points, six clear of second-placed Ismaily and a massive 13 above third-placed Talae El-Gaish.

A win over Petrojet would have secured their place in the decisive round, where a mini-league with only home fixtures will be played to determine the champion.

"We still have a comfortable lead over our challengers. A defeat at this stage is better than a defeat in the decisive phase," Vieira added.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

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