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Fourth place up for grabs in Egyptian League last round

With the winner and those relegated in Egypt's Premier League already decided, the last round witnesses an exciting competition for a fourth-place finish

Hatem Maher, Saturday 9 Jul 2011
Ittihad El-Shorta
Ittihad El-Shorta eyeing a fourth-place finish
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Three teams are vying for a fourth-place finish in the Egyptian Premier League as one of the longest domestic seasons is finally approaching an end on Sunday.

An 11-month long season, prolonged due to January’s popular revolution, is finally ending after Ahly were crowned Egyptian champions for the seventh successive season with one match to spare.

Success-starved side Zamalek earned CAF Champions League qualification after finishing runners up while third-placed Ismaily secured passage to the Confederation Cup.  

Alexandria-based clubs Ittihad and Smouha and Cairo’s Arab Contractors were relegated to the second division.

Fourth place, which could also earn qualification for the Confederation Cup, remains up for grabs.

Ittihad El-Shorta and ENPPI are tied on 46 points, two ahead of dark horse Maqassa that impressed in its first season in the top league.

Maqassa will be looking to overcome champions Ahly, who said they would rest their regular players, and hope ENPPI and El-Shorta stumble when they meet Petrojet and Masry respectively.

El-Shorta need a win, having a superior goal difference over ENPPI, who decided to relieve Bulgarian coach Stoycho Mladenov of his duties and bring in Mokhtar Mokhtar as his successor.

ENPPI striker Ahmed Abdel-Zaher will be eager to score to go level on 13 goals with the league’s top scorer, Mahmoud Abdel-Razek "Shikabala" of Zamalek.

Shikabala will not have a chance to increase his tally after the Egyptian Football Association hit him with a two-match ban for mocking referee Fahim Omar during the 1-1 draw with Ittihad last week.

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