Mohamed Zidan, Shikabala back in action as Ismaily defeat El-Entag

Hatem Maher , Wednesday 21 Oct 2015

A snapshot of Shikabala after he came on as a second-half substitute for Ismaily in their 2-0 victory over El-Entag El-Harby in the Egyptian Premier League on Wednesday

Forgotten men Shikabala and Mohamed Zidan came face to face after playing their first competitive football game in years as Ismaily opened their Egyptian Premier League campaign with a 2-0 win over El-Entag El-Harby on Wednesday.

Shikabala made his last football appearance when he came on as a second-half substitute for Sporting Lisbon in their 1-0 Portuguese league defeat by Estoril in May 2014.

Looking notably overweight, he replaced Ismaily's Ghanaian striker Emmanuel Banahene nine minutes past the hour mark and came close to opening his account for the Dervishes when he made a trademark surge past two challengers before sending a superb chip that went just over the bar in stoppage time.

Shikabala, 29, was brought back to Egypt by his boyhood club Zamalek, who said they wanted to save his career after a disastrous spell at Portugal's Sporting during which he made one appearance due to fitness and disciplinary problems.

Zamalek, who had already completed their roster for the new season, sent him to Ismaily on a season-long loan, with coach Mido, a former teammate of Shikabala, vowing to help him restore his glory.

Zidan's last football appearance was with Emirati club Bani Yas in December 2012. The former Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen man, who is now 33 years, left the team in the summer of 2013 and has been without a club since.

Striker Marwan Mohsen, who ended a disappointing spell at Portugal's Gil Vicente to join Ismaily in the summer, converted a penalty to put Ismaily in front on the stroke of halftime.

Taha Adel was lucky to add the second with 11 minutes remaining at a time when El-Entag looked close to restoring parity.

El-Entag, managed by former Egypt coach Shawky Gharib, signed some veterans who are way past their prime, including Zidan, forward Mohamed Gedo and defender Mahmoud Fathallah who were all part of Egypt's African Cup of Nations winning campaign in 2010.

Shikabala and midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou, who was included in Ismaily's starting line-up against El-Entag, were also part of the Egypt side which triumphed in Angola.

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