Zamalek down Ismaily with two quick-fire goals to preserve lead on top

Ahram Online , Saturday 14 Aug 2021

With just four matches remaining, Zamalek look slight favourites to win their first Egyptian Premier League title since they claimed the domestic double in 2015

Seifeddine Jaziri
Zamalek's Jaziri (L) scored the second goal against Ismaily (Photo: Ahram)

Two quick-fire goals in the second half gave Zamalek a 2-0 victory away to Ismaily on Saturday and ensured their lead on top would remain intact as they target a first Egyptian Premier League crown in six years.

Ismaily gave Zamalek an advantage over defending champions Ahly when they held the latter to a 1-1 draw last Wednesday but they were powerless against the White Knights.

The hosts produced a resolute defensive display in the first half but their resistance came to an end in the 57th minute with a stroke of bad luck when Emam Ashour's low shot took a wicked deflection and wrong-footed the keeper.

Two minutes later, Tunisian striker Seifeddine Jaziri headed home from close range and Zamalek survived a couple of scares in the latter stages to record a fifth consecutive victory.

Zamalek lie on top with 70 points, five clear of perennial Cairo rivals Ahly, who can trim the gap back to two points if they beat Enppi later on Saturday.

With just four matches remaining, Zamalek look slight favourites to win their first league title since they claimed the domestic double in 2015. Ismaily, who have nothing to play for, are 12th in the table with 34 points.

Zamalek's dominance

Ismaily had the better of the early exchanges, with Tunisian forward Fakhereedine Ben Youssef sending a side-footed shot just wide following a flick from Namibian striker Benson Shilongo

But Zamalek then assumed control, pinning Ismaily in their own half even though they only threatened the hosts on the stroke of halftime.

Jaziri was guilty of two misses before halftime, failing to beat Ismaily keeper Mohamed Fawzi in a one-on-one after having his toe-poked effort blocked before heading just wide with the goal at his mercy after rising unmarked.

But Ashour finally made Zamalek's dominance count before Jaziri ended a flowing team move by leaping unchallenged to head home an inviting cross from compatriot Hamza Mathlouthi, whose centre was also vital in helping the team to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Ittihad last Tuesday.

Ismaily were unlucky not to narrow the gap in the closing stages, with Shilongo guilty of two glaring misses as Zamalek breathed a sigh of relief.

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