A superb display from Zamalek wizard Ayman Hefni helped his side to an emphatic 4-0 victory over bitter rivals Ismaily at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium on Wednesday, which sent them to the Egypt Cup final for the fifth time in a row.
Opening the scoring 10 minutes after the break with a superb half-volley, it did not take Hefni quite long to set up striker Bassem Morsi 13 minute later before the latter hit the third himself in the 70th minute.
Substitute Emmanuel Mayuka then put the icing on the cake with just four minutes remaining from the penalty spot, to help his side continue their bid towards a fourth consecutive cup triumph.
Cup holders Zamalek, who won the domestic double in 2015, set up a meeting with the winner of the other semi-final clash between Ahly and ENPPI – which takes place on Thursday.
The final will be played on 8 August.
Wizard Hefni inspires Zamalek
Despite Zamalek showing determination early on, it was Ismaily who first signaled real threat through Ahmed Gamal, who was given all the time and space to hit the woodwork on 20 minutes.
Zamalek striker Bassem Morsi then replied 10 minutes later, when his header from Ahmed Tawfik's cross was denied by in-form keeper Mohamed Awad.
Even though Zamalek struggled to create many chances, it was obvious their opponents were not going to resist for long, and had to rely again on their keeper Awad – who thwarted a low strike by an unmarked Shikabala from outside the area after the break.
Hefni then opened the scoring in impressive fashion in the 50th minute, hitting a half-volley from the right hand-side of the area that left the keeper with no chance.
Hefni's moments of brilliance continued, this time surprising his opponents with a deft through ball for Morsi who lobbed the keeper from point-blank range.
Still, it wasn't the end of Hefni's exploits, but instead of scoring or teeing up a teammate, the tricky forward this time set up an advancing Ali Gabr who ran forward till the byline before seeing his square pass smashed by Morsi into an empty net.
With 20 minutes left, Ismaily looked far from a side capable of mounting a comeback and a late Zamalek penalty meant they were en route to a heavy defeat, with substitute Mayuka making no mistake from the spot.
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