File photo of a game between El-Geish and Zamalek (Ahram)
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.
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.
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