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Egyptian fans return to stadium as Zamalek crush Enppi 4-1

Hatem Maher , Saturday 1 Sep 2018
Ferjani Sassi
Zamalek's Tunisian midfielder Ferjani Sassi (C) was their best player in a 4-1 victory over Enppi on Sunday (Ahram)
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Views: 3906

A few thousand supporters were allowed to attend an Egyptian Premier League game for the first time in more than three years as Zamalek made up for a shocking loss to a promoted club by crushing Enppi 4-1 at Cairo's Petrosport Stadium on Saturday.

A crowd ban that was enforced after a deadly football tragedy in 2015 was partially lifted as the Egyptian Football Association said up to 5,000 supporters would be allowed to attend domestic games.

A domestic crowd ban has been in place since a football disaster in 2012 left over 70 Ahly fans dead in coastal city Port Said but it was briefly lifted three years later, only to be immediately re-instated after more than 20 Zamalek fans were killed in a stampede before the start of a league game against Enppi in February 2015.

Another Zamalek-Enppi duel was trouble-free on Sunday as around 3,000 fans cheered on the Cairo giants, who atoned for a stunning 1-0 loss to top-flight debutants Nogoom FC last week by outplaying their feeble opponents at Petrosport.

Zamalek went to the locker room with a 2-0 lead, thanks to a penalty from central defender Mahmoud Alaa and an own goal from Enppi's Salah Soliman.

Summer arrival Ibrahim Hassan opened his account to extend the advantage 13 minutes into the second half before Congolese striker Kabongo Kasongo put the icing on the cake with a 65th-minute goal following a defensive blunder, taking his tally to three goals in five games.

Mohamed Shika scored a stoppage-time consolation for Enppi, who slipped to ninth spot with six points.

Zamalek moved top with 10 points but both Ahly and Pyramids FC can restore their three-point advantage on top if they win their respective games on Sunday.

Best performer

Zamalek controlled possession from the outset but initially struggled to break down Enppi's defence, creating their first chance after 33 minutes when Tunisian international midfielder Ferjani Sassi, their best performer of the night, went close with a left-foot volley after a cross from Mohamed Ibrahim.

The breakthrough came three minutes later when Enppi full-back Abdel-Rahman Amer clumsily brought down marauding right-back Hazem Emam and Mahmoud Alaa sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

An astute pass from Sassi played a part in Zamalek's second goal on 40 minutes, releasing Ibrahim Hassan whose low cross was turned into his own net by Soliman.

Zamalek opened the floodgates in a second half they completely dominated, displaying a neat passing game which was in stark contrast to their lethargic display against Nogoom.

Hassan added the third in the 58th minute when he beat the offside trap, chested down a chipped pass from Sassi and calmly slotted into the far bottom corner.

Kasongo completed the rout seven minutes later when he collected a loose ball after Enppi's Rami Sabri gave away possession on the edge of the area, breaking clear to round the keeper and roll the ball into an empty net.

Mohamed Shika dashed keeper Mahmoud Gennesh's hopes of a clean sheet when he netted a consolation for Enppi with a superb curling effort in stoppage time.

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