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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Lackluster Zamalek held by solid Enppi

After two successive Egyptian league victories, Zamalek were held to their second draw of the season

Omar Zaazou , Friday 29 Sep 2017
Zamalek
Zamalek striker Bassem Morsi failed to deliver the goods against Enppi (Photo: Ahram)
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An unimpressive Zamalek were held to a goalless Egyptian league draw by a defensively-solid Enppi side at Cairo’s Petrosport Stadium on Friday.

Going into the game as favorites to beat the petroleum club, Zamalek should have been able to pose threat on goal more often, thanks to Enppi manager Tarek El-Ashri’s excellent defensive organization throughout.

Even so, the Cairo giants could have emerged winners if it was not for a wasted second-half penalty from striker Bassem Morsi – who started the game for the first time this season at the expense of fellow center-forward Kabongo Kasongo.

Zamalek are now third of the Egyptian league table on eight points, two adrift of leaders Arab Contractors after four games.

Enppi, who only bagged their second point of the season, lie 14th of the standings.

Enppi solid, Zamalek unimpressive

Apart from a Moayad Ajan strike from inside the area in the 19th minute that missed the target, Zamalek failed to pose real threat on goal throughout the first half.

Enppi, meanwhile, sat back and looked to exploit the gaps in Zamalek’s backline on the break, as Egypt keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi was called into action in the 23rd minute to deny a Cheibane Traore shot.

The second half did not bring an entirely different affair, with Zamalek controlling but still unable to threaten.

And with the match remaining nil-nil, Zamalek manager Nibojsa Jovovic had to intervene with the introduction of Kasongo and Razack Cisse at the expense of Ahmed Daouda and Ahmed Madbouli.

The changes did not bring the awaited improvement, until lively left-back Ajan was awarded a legitimate penalty after being fouled inside the area.

Morsi stepped up to take the spot kick, but his effort was eventually blocked by keeper Ali Lotfi to keep a clean sheet in the 79th minute.

And Zamalek could have paid the price shortly afterwards when substitute Arafa El-Sayed struck towards goal, prompting a superb save from keeper El-Shennawi as the game ended in a goalless stalemate.    

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

 
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