Ismaily’s stumble increases pressure on Dutch coach Wotte

Hatem Maher , Tuesday 19 Apr 2011

Ismaily’s Dutch coach Mark Wotte faces uncertain future after his side were held to a goalless draw by ENPPI on Tuesday

Mark Wotte
Ismaily could dispense with Wotte after ENPPI draw

Ismaily increased pressure on beleaguered coach Mark Wotte after a goalless draw with ENPPI further dented their hopes of mounting a serious challenge for the Egyptian Premier League title.

The Dervishes were lucky to escape with a draw after ENPPI wasted a handful of goal-scoring chances throughout the match.

Ismaily slipped to third in the 16-team league table with 30 points, four behind leaders Zamalek who could move seven points clear of them if they beat Petrojet on Wednesday.

Wotte was heavily criticized by the media after Ismaily suffered a stunning exit from the African Confederation Cup preliminaries before being held to a 1-1 draw by Petrojet in their first match following the league’s resumption.

The latest stumble could seal the fate of the former Southampton manager, who is leading Ismaily for a second time, having managed them for a brief stint in 2006.

Elsewhere, Harras El-Hodoud atoned for their defeat by Zamalek after beating Smouha 1-0, while Masry could hold onto their advantage to draw 1-1 at home to Gouna.

Defensive fragility   

ENPPI exposed Ismaily’s defensive fragility to launch waves of attacks in the first half but could not find a breakthrough.

Ismaily keeper Mohamed Sobhi pulled off a string of fine saves to thwart the hosts, who were unlucky not to go ahead after squandering several clear-cut opportunities.

ENPPI’s most dangerous opportunity fell to lone striker Ahmed Raouf in the 18th minute when he broke clear of defence after latching onto a long pass, but Sobhi rushed out to block his shot.

Missing influential playmaker Abdullah Saied, who was omitted for disciplinary reasons, and attacking midfielder Omar Gamal, Ismaily lacked imagination and spark and they barely threatened ENPPI.

ENPPI maintained their domination in the second half but had to survive a late Ismaily onslaught as both sides shared spoils.

Ismaily finished with ten men after striker Mohsen Abou-Greisha was sent off for a second bookable offence five minutes from time.  

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