A double from exciting new talent Ahmed Madbouli gave Zamalek a second straight 3-0 Egyptian Premier League win, this time at the expense of a tame Petrojet side at Cairo Stadium on Friday.
Central defender Mahmoud Alaa netted for a second consecutive match following a wasted penalty to put Zamalek ahead on the half-hour mark.
Madbouli, who joined in the summer from modest club Nasr Taadeen, scored twice either side of the break following two similar turns inside the area to give Zamalek all three points and further establish himself as one of the team’s new key players.
The 22-year-old has three league goals to his name so far this season, having also found the net with a superb curling shot when Zamalek defeated Masry 2-1 in a tough clash in September.
The win means Zamalek have overcome a mini-crisis which saw them fail to win in three straight matches, only to recover with another 3-0 victory over Petrojet last Sunday.
Zamalek moved to the second spot with 15 points, bridging the gap on leaders Ismaily, who were held to a 1-1 draw with Enppi on Thursday, to two points although the latter have a game in hand.
Ahmed Dawouda had a shot tipped over by Petrojet keeper Amr Hossam after a lay-off from Madbouli on 25 minutes before Zamalek were awarded a dubious penalty four minutes later.
Winger Abdallah Gomaa, a summer arrival from Enppi, made one of his trademark jinking runs into the area, only to fall under an apparent challenge from behind from Petrojet’s Mostafa Shebeita. Television replays suggested there was no contact between both men.
In-form holding midfielder Mohamed Ashraf, Zamalek’s new spot-kick specialist, had his effort saved by Hossam this time around but Alaa was on hand to score on the rebound, although his initial follow-up effort was blocked by the keeper.
Madbouli doubled the lead in superb fashion six minutes before the break, exchanging passes with Congolese lone striker Kasongo Kabongo, turning his marker inside out and placing a right-foot curler into the corner of the net.
Zamalek remained in control in the second half, putting the result beyond doubt.
Influential midfielder Ashraf was replaced due to injury but Zamalek were hardly affected, adding a third on 66 minutes when Syrian left-back Moayad Ajan squared the ball to Madbouli, who turned again inside the area to hold off his challenger before his shot deflected off a defender and lopped into the net.
Petrojet were unlucky not to at least score a consolation with fast counter attacks in the latter stages as Zamalek held on for another convincing win.
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