Zamalek return to Egyptian league summit after easing past Assiouty

Eslam Omar , Sunday 14 Dec 2014

Zamalek score twice in the first 10 minutes, miss a penalty and net a late third to claim an away victory over their lowly opponents

Zamalek defeat Assiouty Sport 3-1 in Assiut on Sunday (Photo: Ahram)

Zamalek secured their eighth victory in 12 Egyptian Premier League games as an easy 3-1 win away to Assiouty Sports helped them return to the summit.

Ahmed Ali, who made a rare start, and winger Hazem Emam scored in the first 10 minutes to set the Cairo giants on their way to their second straight win. 

Nigerian Prince Nkana took advantage of a defensive lapse to narrow the gap seven minutes past the hour mark but Zamalek quickly reaffirmed their authority despite wasting a penalty from left-back Ahmed Samir

They put the result beyond doubt via a late header from substitute Ahmed Eid to leave top-flight debutants Assiouty still searching for their first win.

The White Knights regained their position on top with 28 points. Second-placed ENPPI, who are enjoying a great run of form, will overtake Zamalek if they beat Smouha on Monday.

Zamalek will face Gouna in their next game before playing ENPPI in a top-of-the-table clash on 25 December.

Assiouty, who caused an upset by holding defending champions Ahly to a 0-0 draw in October, are still bottom of the table with only 4 points from four draws.

Ahmed Ali headed Zamalek in front after two minutes following a corner and Emam sent an angled shot home six minutes later as the visitors looked on their way to a comfortable win.

Zamalek stand-in goalie Abo-Gabal proved a reliable replacement for injured Ahmed El-Shennawy, who made a few fine saves to thwart the hosts. The first-choice keeper is still suffering an ankle injury he sustained while on international duty last month.

The Cairo giants were the better side in the early stages of the second half but coach Jaime Pacheco sought to beef up their attack by introducing veteran winger Eid and playmaker Ayman Hefni in the 57th and 62nd minutes respectively.

However, Nigerian substitute Prince Nakani narrowed the gap when he neatly controlled a cross from the left to leave defender Ahmed Dweidar flat-footed and fire home, eight minutes following his introduction.

Ahmed Samir had a spot-kick blocked by the keeper in the 76th minute and Eid was denied by the post following a one-on-one situation with four minutes remaining but he made amends in stoppage time.

The former Egyptian international towered to head home a free-kick from the left and ensure Zamalek had bagged all three points as they chase their first league title since 2004.
In Sunday's other matches, Petrojet host Masry and Ragaa take on Arab Contractors. The 13th round ends on Monday with ENPPI and Ahly facing Smouha and Haras El-Hodoud respectively.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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