Scarce success

Alaa Abdel-Ghani , Tuesday 16 Apr 2024

Tunisian striker Seif Jaziri struck twice to lead Zamalek to a rare 2-1 win over arch-rivals Ahly on Monday night in the famed Cairo derby, reports Alaa Abdel-Ghani

Ahly vs Zamalek

 

Zamalek’s victory, their first over Ahly in the domestic league since a decisive 3-1 win in August 2020, pushed Zamalek to 10th place in the league table with 21 points from 13 matches, on level with Ahly, who still have two matches in hand, .

Pyramids FC, who defeated Arab Contractors 2-0 earlier on Monday, currently lead the table with 32 points from 15 games.

Zamalek opened the scoring in the 44th minute when former Ahly player Nasser Maher delivered an inch-perfect pass to Jaziri to put him in on goal. As Jaziri tried to round goalkeeper Mustafa Shubeir, his initial shot was blocked by Shubeir but the rebound luckily returned to Jaziri who slotted the ball into an empty net without the presence of Ahly defenders.

Ahly substitute Ahmed Abdel-Qader levelled the score just three minutes after his introduction, in the 73rd minute, following a well-executed cross from another substitute Reda Slim. Abdel-Qader shot with his right foot as he was falling when it normally would have been shot with the left.

But Jaziri, who has been out of form throughout much of the season, got the winning goal, threading from close range in a goalmouth scramble just three minutes from time. The goal emptied the Zamalek bench as delirious staff and teammates ran onto the field.

The defeat meant that defending champions Ahly have won just one game out of their last four league matches.

The loss also ended Ahly coach Marcel Koller’s perfect record against Zamalek, having guided them to four out of four wins in all competitions. In fact, Ahly had won seven out of the last 10 games between the two teams.

Under new Zamalek manager Jose Gomes Zamalek suffered a 2-0 defeat to Ahly in the Egypt Cup final last month but Gomes turned the tables on Monday in Cairo Stadium in front of 30,000 fans.

The two teams will now go their separate ways in African club championships over the weekend.  Ahly will be in Lubumbashi against TP Mazembe of DR Congo on Saturday in the Champions League first leg semi-final.

Zamalek are set to play Ghanaian side Dreams FC in the first leg of the Confederation Cup semi-finals on Sunday.


* A version of this article appears in print in the 18 April, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

 

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