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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Slick Zamalek too good for Mido's Wadi Degla

Zamalek produced a vintage display against Wadi Degla just a few days ahead of their CAF Champions League visit to Ahli's Tripoli in midweek

Omar Zaazou , Thursday 18 May 2017
Zamalek
Zamalek playmaker Mohamed Ibrahim produced an excellent display against Wadi Degla (Photo: Ahram)
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A slick Zamalek side secured their third consecutive victory under Portuguese manager Augusto Inacio, beating Wadi Degla 2-1 at Cairo's Petrosport Stadium in the Egyptian league on Thursday.

A beautiful first-half goal from Stanley Ohawuchi gave Zamalek the lead in the 37th minute, before Arafa El-Sayed restored parity just three minutes after the break.

Playmaker Mohamed Ibrahim provided the winner 19 minutes from time with a deflected shot to give his side all three points for their second league win running.

Zamalek, who virtually lost hope of a second-placed finish, are currently third on 54 points, four ahead of fourth-placed Masry who played a game less.

 Zamalek outshine Degla

Degla set their stall out early on, leaving Zamalek's backline all time on the ball while maintaining an organized defensive shape in an attempt to shut down the hosts' passing options as they looked to go forward.

Mido's men succeeded in frustrating Zamalek's build-up play for nearly 15 minutes, but the Cairo giants started to gradually pose problems, thanks in part to the creativity of midfield duo Maarouf Yussuf and Mahmoud Abdel-Aati.

The latter knocked out a superb ball down the right for Shikabala to run onto before the talented winger cut inside his marker onto his stronger left foot, only to see his curling effort agonizingly denied by the woodwork on 23 minutes.  

Yussuf, on the other side, dished out a superb assist with a through-ball over the top for Ohawuchi, who emphatically volleyed the ball past Egypt keeper Essam El-Hadary to give Zamalek the lead.

Barely three minutes after the break, Degla drew level through ex-Zamalek striker El-Sayed, when he comfortably out-jumped defender Mahmoud Hamdi to head a corner kick home.

Zamalek looked to have some promising attacks after conceding the equalizer, but they were consistently frustrated by the lack of striker Emmanuel Mayuka's mobility as the Zambian looked completely out of sorts.

The winner then came through in-form playmaker Ibrahim, who had been fielded as a number 10 in Inacio's 4-2-3-1 format, when a powerful shot following a Degla clearance took a big deflection towards goal as it eluded keeper El-Hadary.

The veteran keeper then denied a header from Zamalek substitute Hossam Salama, making his first appearance under Inacio, what could have been Zamalek's third just two minutes later.

Mido then instructed his side to push forward in search of the leveler, as the Whites continually found spaces on the counter but they were often let down by some selfish play from winger Mostafa Fathi. 

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

 
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