Depleted Zamalek held by 10-man Gouna to bore draw

Ahram Online , Sunday 30 May 2021

Gouna 0-0 Zamalek
Zamalek held by Gouna to 0-0 Egyptian Premier League draw (Photo: Zamalek's official Facebook page)

A Zamalek side missing several key players and French coach Patrice Carteron failed to break down lowly Gouna in a 0-0 away draw in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday.

With the likes of Moroccan winger Achraf Bencharki, Tunisian midfielder Ferjani Sassi and defensive midfielder Tarek Hamed suspended, Zamalek found it hard to penetrate Gouna's massed ranks.

Zamalek also wasted the few opportunities they created and could not score a last-gasp winner, which they found in recent exciting victories over Talae El-Geish and Masry.

Gouna played most of the second half with ten men after Arabi Badr received a second booking for simulation but Zamalek failed to make their numerical advantage count.

The Cairo giants' three-match winning run came to an end but they still lead the league table with 55 points. Second-placed and holders Ahly are second on 41 points but they have six matches in hand.

Should Ahly win their rescheduled matches, they will move four points clear on top.

Gouna, who also held Ahly to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season, remain 12th on 31 points.  

No spark

Zamalek lacked the spark of the likes of Bencharki and Sassi but they still created two goal-scoring chances in the first half.

After 10 minutes, left-back Ahmed Fatouh was released by a deft long ball from central midfielder Mohamed Ashraf and although he controlled it well on his chest, his attempted volley with his weak right foot flew high over.

Two minutes later, playmaker Youssef Ibrahim could only head straight into the keeper's hands after being found unmarked by an inviting cross from veteran winger Mahmoud Shikabala.

The dismissal of Badr on 59 minutes hardly made a difference as Zamalek still struggled for openings.

Defender Mahmoud El-Wensh could have still scored when a loose ball fell to him after a corner caused mayhem in the area, but his tame effort was collected by the keeper.

Tunisian forward Seifeddine Jaziri also shot over the crossbar from a tight angle after running onto a through ball in the dying minutes.

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