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Sunday, 18 August 2019

Zamalek win as Egyptian league comes back to life

Following the death of 20 Zamalek supporters from tear gas as they attempted to enter Air Defence Stadium, domestic competitions have been suspended, though the league returned behind closed doors on Monday

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 30 Mar 2015
Ahmed Eid
Zamalek's forward Ahmed Eid Abdel-Malek (Photo: Ahram)
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Zamalek secured their first league win under new Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira, beating Dakhlya 2-0 as the competition resumed on Monday after an unplanned eight-week hiatus.

The Premier League, as well as the other domestic football competitions, have been frozen since 8 February, when 20 Zamalek supporters were killed after police forces used teargas to disperse a crowd of fans attempting to enter the Air Defence Stadium ahead of a league match with ENPPI.

Defender Hamada Tolba and winger Ahmed Eid scored in the second half to give their Zamalek teammates an important victory as they seek to end the club's 11-year league title drought.

The Egyptian government decided to resume the league, though behind closed doors.

In his debut for the Whites on 15 March, the 68-year old boss Ferreira guided the team to an easy 3-1 home win over Rwanda's Rayon Sports in the Confederation Cup opener during the first leg of the competition's round of 32.

After Monday's win over Dakhlya, Zamalek extended its lead in the league table with 48 points, five ahead of second-placed ENPPI and 12 clear of arch-rivals and defending champions Ahly.

Slow start for Zamalek

Aiming to cover the absence of the team's scorer Basem Morsi due to suspension, Zamalek introduced striking duo Khaled Kamar and Ahmed Ali from the start but they failed to impress during the first half.

The Whites had opportunities to score but rarely posed a real threat.

Influential playmaker Ayman Hefny was the most effective among Zamalek players, especially in the last 15 minutes before the break, though he failed to give his team the lead.

Better second half

Eying the upper hand in the second half, Zamalek had two successive early chances to score by Khaled Kamar and Hazem Emam but they were unsuccessful.

Defender Hamada Tolba was lucky to score his first ever goal with Zamalek putting the team in the lead after 60 minutes when he eased past opposition midfielders and defenders to have a clear shot on the goal.

In the 69th minute, midfielder Farid Shawky added to Dakhlya's woes after receiving his second booking to be dismissed and leave his team with a numerical disadvantage.

Two minutes later, Zamalek's second half substitute Eid proved his worth after scoring from a penalty.

Zamalek kept trying to add a third until the final whistle while the hosts were fighting for even a consolation goal. Both sides' efforts were in vain.

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

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