Zakareya wonder goal gives Zamalek win at Ittihad

Ahram Online, Thursday 30 Oct 2014

Moemen Zakareya proves the hero again for Zamalek to give them all three points with a wonderful strike

Moemen Zakareya
Moemen Zakareya scores his second goal in as many games (Photo: Ahram)

Zamalek needed a superb second-half strike from midfielder Moemen Zakareya to secure all three points against Ittihad away from home in the Egyptian league on Thursday.

A 73rd minute half-volley from Zakareya was enough for the Cairo giants to claim their second straight win after three successive goalless league draws.

The 26-year-old proved the hero for the second game running, having assisted a goal and scored another to help Zamalek beat Smouha 2-0 deep into stoppage time last week.

The win is also the second in a row for manager Jaime Pacheco, appointed earlier this month to replace Hossam Hassan, who made his Ittihad debut this evening.

Zamalek climbed five spots in the league table to lie third on 12 points, just two adrift of leaders Haras El-Hodoud, while Ittihad remained 16th in the 20-team table.

Insipid first half

Portuguese manager Pacheco made just a single change from the Smouha match, bringing on veteran midfielder Ahmed Eid for the suspended Ayman Hefni.

Eid, who was deployed in a central role, was arguably the least influential among Zamalek's three attacking midfielders – with Hazem Emam and Zakareya looking livelier on either side of the 34-year-old.

Emam in particular used to combine well with right-back Omar Gaber on several occasions, both relying on their blistering pace down the right – albeit with no real chances created.

The only genuine chance of the half came after 17 minutes on the other end though, when Ittihad Libyan midfielder Ousama Boghanmy shot from close range but was denied by keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi.

Zamalek striker Khaled Kamar, who has been struggling to find the net of late, replied with another header just a minute later from an Eid free-kick, but the ball flew wide.

The Cairo giants needed creativity to pose a threat on goal, with Zakareya latching onto an Emam-through ball in an unfamiliar position down the right hand side of the area – but the former's strike from a tight angle missed the target.

Zakareya superb winner

The second half did not bring an entirely different affair from the first, with the first opportunity coming after 15 minutes from the restart – with Eid involved this time.

The Egypt international could have given his side the lead in superb fashion, when he volleyed an Ahmed Samir-cross from inside the area, but his spectacular effort missed the target.

Ittihad Ethiopian forward Oumed Oukri then tried his luck from distance 12 minutes later, but his strike went wide.

Zamalek finally managed to break the deadlock 17 minutes from regular time, with a magnificent half volley from Zakareya in front of the edge of the area – with striker Bassem Morsy, who earlier replaced Kamar, doing well to hold off former Ahly defender Mohamed Samir.

Pacheco then opted to withdraw Zakareya and introduce Maarouf Yussuf as Zamalek managed to come up with all three points against an opponent who barely threatened their goal more than once throughout the whole match.   

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