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Zamalek bounce back with Egyptian league win at ENPPI

Zamalek claim their only second league win from three games but have four matches in hand

Omar Zaazou , Monday 31 Oct 2016
Zamalek
Zamalek striker Bassem Morsi (Photo: Ahram)
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Zamalek bounced back from their Champions League title loss and last week's league draw with Smouha to beat ENPPI 2-1 at Petrosport Stadium on Monday.

Going into their only third league game, Zamalek managed to bag their second victory courtesy of goals from midfielder Tarek Hamed and striker Bassem Morsi either side of the interval, before Amr Marei pulled one back for the hosts.

Zamalek's lineup featured six changes from the draw with Smouha, with Ayman Hefni, Shikabala and Maarouf Yussuf reclaiming their places in the team's attack and midfield.

The Egypt Cup champions, who have four games in hand, are now 12th of the league table with seven points, while ENPPI are in ninth on 10.

ENPPI defend deep

ENPPI seemed determined to drop deep from the outset and give Zamalek possession, but the Whites for long periods looked unable to threaten their opponents' goal.

On the contrary, ENPPI were the first side to signal threat on goal, with Lama Kone unleashing a thunderbolt that narrowly missed the target from outside the area after 15 minutes.

Zamalek's first of chances arrived five minutes later, albeit from a dead ball situation, with Shikabala – who used to drop deep so often to receive the ball – seeing a free kick go wide.

And with Moemen Soliman's men unable to formulate dangerous combinations to penetrate ENPPI's defensive block, it was a left-footed strike from holding midfielder Hamed from outside the area that gave his side the lead on 32 minutes.

Just five minutes into the second half, Zamalek doubled their advantage through Morsi who headed home a pin-point cross from newly signed right back Hosni Fathi following a fine team-move.

Zamalek then eased off after scoring their second as they endured a 10-minute spell of pressure -during which keeper Mahmoud 'Gennesh' denied a strike by Marei from outside the area.

ENPPI center-back Rami Sabri missed a header from a corner before Shikabala struck wide from the edge of the box following a cut-back from Maarouf Yussuf.

Zamalek keeper Gennesh then thwarted another Marei shot from inside the area after the latter pounced on a loose ball as ENPPI continued to pile on the pressure.

But it was Marei's next attempt that pulled one back for the petroleum side after striking past keeper Gennesh from inside the area under the watch of Zamalek defender Mahmoud Hamdi.

ENPPI looked energized after the goal, but it was Zamalek who could have scored deep into stoppage time when Hamed struck on the counter only for keeper Ali Lotfi to foil his effort.

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

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