Zamalek came back from a goal down to beat Ismaily 3-2 -- in a game postponed from week 4 -- and move three points clear at the top of the Egyptian Premier League table on Wednesday.
Thirty minutes in, Mahmoud “Shikabala” Abdel-Razek neutralized Abdallah Al-Said’s early lead, allowing Ahmed Gaafar to put Zamalek ahead for the first time in the 43th minute. Ahmed Ali was able to level the score again in the 54th but his teammate Moatassem Salem made a terrible blunder as he scored into his own net and gave the hosts three precious points.
Ismaily had an excellent start and were able to dominate the game in terms of possession thanks to their short passing style in midfield. Al-Said gave his team a deserved lead in the 19th with a superb 20-yard shot.
Nigerian striker Godwin Ndubuisi came close to doubling the visitors’ lead a few minutes later but missed Al-Said’s cross to keep the Whites’ chances alive.
Feeling the heat, Zamalek’s coach Hossam Hassan replaced Wagih Abdel-Azim with youngster Mohamed Ibrahim in the 27th in order to revive his team’s offensive play.
Zamalek's Shikabala responded with a solo effort, dribbling past two defenders before unleashing a long-range ball to level the score to 1-1.
As the hosts' attacking play maintained its progress, Gaafar curled a loose ball past keeper Mohamed Sobhi to give Zamalek an important lead just before half time.
As with the first half, the Dervishes put a lot of pressure on Zamalek in the beginning of the second, and it paid off as substitute Ahmed Ali scored the equalizer when he picked off a rebound from the rivals’ keeper Abdel Wahed Al-Sayed.
Ismaily were in a position to clinch a win, but defender Moatassem Salem diverted a cross from Shikabala into his own net.
Manager Marc Wotte’s men tried to bounce back into the game but they lacked the pace and energy to break through Zamalek’s backline.
Zamalek are now clear at the top of the table with 21 points, three points ahead of second place Ahly who still have two games in hand.