Zamalek back to winning ways with 2-1 Egyptian league victory

Ahram Online , Sunday 7 May 2017

Stanley Ohawuchi
Zamalek's Stanley Ohawuchi (R) scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Arab Contractors in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday (Ahram)

Zamalek returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Arab Contractors in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday, finally finding the net after two straight goalless draws.

New Portuguese coach Augusto Inacio was credited for improving Zamalek's defensive displays but the team looked largely toothless upfront in his first few games in charge, often struggling to create chances.

But they looked slightly better against Contractors, taking the lead through a dubious first-half penalty converted by Ahmed Refaat after a defender was adjudged to have felled Nigerian forward Stanley Ohawuchi in an aerial challenge; although television replays showed there was only a minimal contact.

Mohamed Farouk leveled the score after a breakaway on 73 minutes but Stanley soon restored Zamalek's advantage with his third league goal since joining on loan from Wadi Degla last summer.

Zamalek remain third with 51 points, seven clear of fourth-placed Masry who have two games in hand. Both sides are vying for a place in the Confederation Cup, Africa's secondary club competition.

Inacio opted to leave out some regulars, including main striker Bassem Morsi and veteran winger Shikabala, to rest them ahead of Friday's opening group-stage match of the African Champions League against Zimbabwean side CAPS United.

Refaat was Zamalek's liveliest performer in the first half, whipping in some fine crosses.

Defensive midfielder Ibrahim Salah went close with a header on the quarter hour mark before Refaat fired into the bottom corner from the spot on 28 minutes.

Playmaker Ayman Hefni, back from injury, could have made it 2-0 nine minutes later but his shot with his weak right foot went over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

A neatly-worked counter attack brought Contractors level in the 73rd minute, with Mohamed Farouk running half the length of the pitch and skipping past left-back Mohamed Nassef to break clear and beat keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi with a low shot at his near post.

But Contractors' celebrations were short-lived, with Ohawuchi finding the net with what looked like a mis-hit volley from a right-wing cross that looped over the keeper and into the net.

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