Zamalek playmaker Ayman Hefni (Photo: Ahram)
Zamalek wizard Ayman Hefni scored a goal and dished out another to lead his side to a 2-0 away victory against newcomers El-Nasr Taadin at Aswan Stadium in the Egyptian league on Thursday.
Shortly after missing a spot kick, Hefni bagged Zamalek's opener in the 23rd minute before setting up center-back Shawki El-Said, who struck in a clever volley from inside the area, with just 16 minutes left.
The game also witnessed another penalty squandered from forward Stanley Ohawuchi, deployed as a lone striker, in the 27th minute as Zamalek did not struggle much to overcome their lowly opponents.
Zamalek's starting lineup featured a host of new-signings, including right-back Osama Ibrahim, midfielders Mahmoud 'Dunga' and Salah Riko with manager Moemen Soliman opting to rest some of his key players.
Zamalek, who are currently gearing up for the CAF Champions League final first leg at South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns on 15 October, are currently eighth of the league standings, as they still have two games in hand.
Hefni misses, scores, creates
The match kicked off with the newcomers showing intent to attack Zamalek, and it was just three minutes into the first half when striker Patrick Addo rose unmarked to head narrowly wide from a corner.
Taadin then resorted to sit back without the ball in an attempt to deny Zamalek spaces; they looked far from organized however.
And the minnows could have well conceded in the 11th minute when Ayman Hefni hit a penalty high over after the referee had adjudged a Taadin defender to have handled a Shikabala cross.
Hefni, however, made amends minutes later when he prodded home from close range another cross from Shikabala, with both combining well on several occasions - thanks to the freedom afforded to them by manager Soliman.
Zamalek were then awarded another penalty when Shikabala sent Ohawuchi through on goal before the keeper tripped the Nigerian forward as the referee pointed to the spot.
Another badly-executed penalty from Ohawuchi saw Zamalek miss their second spot kick in the space of 14 minutes with the keeper denying the Wadi Degla forward, on a season-long loan to the Cairo giants, this time.
The Whites remained in control after the break, and a free kick from Shikabala just two minutes into the second half was saved by the keeper.
Minnows Taadin did not look quite the side capable of causing Zamalek much problems, with their major chance of the half coming from a blunder by keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi but Abdel-Aziz Emam's strike missed the target.
With Zamalek dictating play, defender El-Said doubled his side's advantage with an excellent left-footed volley from Hefni's cross, as the Egypt Cup holders opened their league campaign with victory.
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