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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Zamalek's misery compounded after Egypt Cup loss to El-Geish

Zamalek exit the Egypt Cup at the semi-final stage as Talae El-Geish inflict a 3-1 defeat on the Cairo giants to reach their first ever final

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Dec 2020
Zamalek v El-Geish
File photo of a game between El-Geish and Zamalek (Ahram)
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Zamalek's disappointing season hit a new low on Tuesday with a 3-1 loss to Talae El-Geish after extra time as they exited the Egypt Cup at the semi-final stage, a few days after they also lost the African Champions League title to Cairo foes Ahly.

Impressive winger Ahmed Samir haunted his ex-club again, restoring El-Geish's advantage from the spot after winning the penalty himself in the 95th minute before substitute Amr Marei applied the coup de grace in the second half of extra time after a dreadful blunder from keeper Mahmoud Gennesh.

Samir had given El-Geish the lead in the first half before Zamalek's veteran winger Mahmoud Shikabala equalised with a superb free kick just before halftime.

Shikabala also scored a sublime equaliser against Ahly on Saturday but the Red Devils had the final word when a late screamer by Magdi Afsha gave them the Champions League title.

Zamalek, winners of six out of the last seven cup editions, finished the season without a major trophy after they also lost the Egyptian Premier League title, which Ahly won.

El-Geish made history by qualifying for their first ever Egypt Cup final. Their coach, Tarek El-Ashri, won the trophy twice with Haras El-Hodoud in 2009 and 2010.

Depleted Zamalek

Zamalek appeared disjointed without several key players, with the likes of Achraf Bencharki missing through injury, defender Mahmoud Hamdi out due to COVID-19 and influential holding midfielder Ferjani Sassi suspended.

Early on, Nasser Mansi went close for El-Geish with a header that narrowly missed the target and striker Amr Gamal could only shoot straight into the keeper's hands when well-positioned to score after a pull-back from the right.

Zamalek's Mohamed Ounajem scored on nine minutes after cutting inside his challenger but his effort was correctly ruled out for offside after a VAR review. The Moroccan winger was later taken off due to injury.

A bold El-Geish side continued to press Zamalek high up the pitch, forcing their opponents to retreat and deservedly opening the scoring in the 36th minute when Samir's free-kick from the edge of the area sailed past poorly-positioned keeper Gennesh.

Shikabala curled a superb free-kick over the wall and into the far top corner to draw Zamalek level on the stroke of halftime.

El-Geish remained the better side in the second half, with Samir's trickery causing constant menace to Zamalek's defence.

Samir had a fine shot smothered by Gennesh after a neat one-two on the edge of the area and a low shot from Mohannad Lashin came back off the post after a slight deflection.

Zamalek's late pressure failed to yield a decisive goal as the game went into extra time, with El-Geish punishing their opponents for a woeful display.

Samir powerfully slotted into the corner of the net after being obstructed by Zamalek's Eslam Gaber, who was once again deployed in an unfamiliar position as a left-back due to shortage of options.

Marei then wrapped up the win in the 113rd minute, sliding the ball into an empty net after Gennesh fumbled an innocuous shot.

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

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