Petrojet own goal gives below-par Zamalek Egyptian league win
Omar Zaazou , Tuesday 13 Dec 2016
Zamalek are now fifth of the league table with four games in hand

A lacklustre Zamalek side needed an own goal from Petrojet midfielder Karim Tarek to break the deadlock and eventually prevail as they claimed a 1-0 Egyptian League win at Cairo's Petrosport Stadium on Tuesday.

Following their insipid goalless stalemate against minnows Aswan last week, Zamalek were under pressure to get back to winning ways in their bid to reclaim a league title they lost to arch-rivals Ahly last season.

The victory took Zamalek to fifth place on 25 points, 14 adrift of leaders Ahly who played four games more.

Petrojet thwart Zamalek build-up

With Petrojet pressing Zamalek intensely in midfield from the opening stages, the hosts found it difficult to overcome their opponents' pressure, as the first real chance of the half arrived in the 24th minute.

The opportunity, however, belonged to the petroleum side and not the Cairo giants, when Tarek forced a save from keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi who thwarted the midfielder's strike from inside the area.

Following Zamalek's draw with minnows Aswan last week, manager Mohamed Helmi opted for a 4-3-3 formation instead of 4-2-3-1 this time, with Maarouf Yussuf and Salah 'Riko' flanking Tarek Hamed in midfield.

Playing with two central midfielders, however, did not help Zamalek getting forward with the midfield trio looking unable to move the ball into attack quickly.

And with wingers Shikabala and Stanley Ohawuchi tightly marked by Petrojet's full-backs, the visitors managed to totally nullify Zamalek's threat in the first half.

Tarek own goal

Zamalek needed an own goal from Tarek to take the lead 15 minutes into the second half when Shikabala swerved a corner kick which was headed by the Petrojet man, who was under pressure from Yussuf, into his own net.

After going behind, Petrojet gave up their defensive strategy and began to attack, with Zamalek - who had switched to a 4-2-3-1 format with the introduction of Ayman Hefni - seeming overloaded in midfield at times.

The visiting side, however, did not seem quite capable of threatening Zamalek much, with El-Shennawi called into action nine minutes later when he tipped over a free kick from Mohamed Ramadan in what was their only major chance.

And with Petrojet leaving gaps in behind, Zamalek looked to threaten on the counter, as keeper Ali Farag was forced to save a Shikabala effort from inside the area following a dangerous move by Zamalek.

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