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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Zamalek overcome Ittihad to narrow gap with league leaders Ahly

Title holders Zamalek continue their recent fine run after beating Ittihad in Alexandria to keep pressure on rivals Ahly

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 16 May 2016
Zamalek and Ittihad (Al-Ahram)
Zamalek and Ittihad (Al-Ahram)
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Defending champions Zamalek extended their Egyptian league winning streak to five matches upon beating hosts Ittihad of Alexandria 1-0 on Monday.

An early goal from midfielder Ibrahim Abdel-Khaleq gave the Whites the victory that helped them keep the pressure on arch-rivals and leaders Ahly.

Second-placed Zamalek are now five points behind Ahly, who could well restore their eight-point lead should they beat lowly side El-Entag El-Harby on Tuesday.

Zamalek will be looking to win their remaining six matches to keep alive their hopes of retaining the league title.

It only took Abdel-Khaleq 11 minutes to open the scoring with a fine header, connecting with an inch-perfect cross from left-back Mohamed Adel Gomaa.

In the 20th minute Zamalek were dealt a blow as striker Mohamed Ibrahim was obliged to leave the pitch due to injury, making way for the team's top scorer Mahmoud 'Kahraba' Abdel-Moneam.

The coastal side sought to bring the score level with young forward Obama being active upfront, but some heroics from goalkeeper Mahmoud Abdel-Rehim 'Gennesh' kept Zamalek's slender lead intact.

Ittihad, who remain in the 13th place with 32 points, intensified their attacks after the break.

In an attempt to inject zeal upfront, Zamalek coach Mohamed Helmi replaced Zambian striker Mayuka with Basem Morsi, before introducing skilful winger Mostafa Fathi instead of Shikabala just 11 minutes before the final whistle.

Both teams kept fighting until the dying minutes but were only able to produce half-chances.

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

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