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Sunday, 19 September 2021

Zamalek handed first defeat of season by plucky Geish

Zamalek were on the receiving end of two penalties in a match that witnessed the sending-off of a player from each team

Omar Zaazou , Sunday 20 Dec 2015
Zamalek's players (Al-Ahram)

Reigning champions Zamalek were handed their first defeat of the season after slumping to 3-2 away league defeat to a gutsy Talae El-Geish side at the Air Defense Stadium on Sunday.

In a match that witnessed two penalty kicks for Geish, it was the hosts who opened the scoring through Mohamed Hashem in the sixth minute from the spot, before Islam Kamal made it two 12 minutes later.

Zamalek forward Mahmoud Kahraba then narrowed the gap in the 35th minute, before in-form Ivorian striker Oussou Konan restored his side's two-goal advantage with another penalty 10 minutes after the break.

Substitute Mostafa Fathi then scored his side's second with a trademark left-footed goal, as Zamalek failed to get anything further from the match.

The game witnessed the dismissal of a player from each team, with Zamalek defender Ali Gabr receiving his marching orders in as early as the fifth minute, while Geish had Abdel-Aziz Tawfik also sent off for two bookable offences.

Early action

It was just four minutes into the first half when lone striker Oussou Konan found himself through on goal with defender Gabr struggling to keep up with his pace as the Zamalek man eventually fouled the Ivorian inside the box.

Gabr was subsequently sent off as the referee pointed to the spot, with Hashem making no mistake from nine yards sending Egypt keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi the wrong way.

Konan could have doubled Geish's lead shortly afterwards when he targeted the space vacated by the sent-off Gabr but had to see his effort narrowly miss the target.

Newly appointed coach Marcos Paqueta - who is in charge of his second game - then intervened, introducing Ahmed Dwidar instead of playmaker Ayman Hefni.

After former Zamalek winger Alaa Ali saw a free kick go wide, it was just few minutes later when the hosts doubled their advantage through Kamal.

This time an onrushing Kamal came darting towards the near post as he slotted home past the El-Shennawi to make Zamalek's mission in staging a comeback more difficult.

But it was on 34 minutes when Kahraba managed to pull one back when he headed Hazem Emam's chipped cross from inside the area to make it 2-1.

Zamalek then had the chance to bag the equaliser through Ahmed Hassan Mekki, whose header narrowly missed the target shortly before half time.

Another penalty, brilliant Fathi goal

Instead of sitting back to protect his narrow lead, Geish manager Tarek Yehia opted for a proactive approach; pressing from the front while retaining a high backline.

It was the military side who looked more dangerous after the break, with defender Ahmed Hassan Okka and midfielder Abdel-Aziz Tawfik forcing two fine saves from keeper El-Shennawi.

While Zamalek were looking for a leveler, Geish were awarded another penalty after right-back Emam had been adjudged to have fouled Ali inside the area.

Konan made no mistake from the spot to restore his side's two-goal lead as Geish were now 3-1.

Paqueta then introduced Ibrahim Abdel-Khalek and Fathi instead of Gaber and Emam respectively in hope to turn his fortunes around.

And indeed it was Fathi who bagged Zamalek's second with an emphatic solo effort that saw him evade several challengers down the right before cutting inside and finding the net at the near post.

Geish were then reduced to 10 men when Tawfik was handed a second booking in the space of just one minute as his side no longer enjoyed a numerical advantage.

The Cairo giants' dangerous chance, however, only came three minutes from time when Mekki blasted high from close range after brilliantly controlling the ball following a fine combination between Fathi and Kahraba.

Geish then came close in the final minutes through Ahmed Eid and Mohamed Ashraf, but again El-Shennawi was there to save his side from an embarrassing defeat. 

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