Egypt’s Zamalek end disappointing Arab campaign with 2-1 win

Ahram Online , Saturday 29 Jul 2017

Egypt's Zamalek defeated Saudi Arabia's Al-Nassr 2-1 in their final group stage game of the Arab Championship in Alexandria on Saturday (Ahram)

Egypt’s Zamalek, who had been already eliminated, began life after Portuguese coach Augusto Inacio with a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr in their final group stage game of the Arab Championship on Saturday.

Winger Hazem Emam, who returned to the club after a loan spell with Ittihad, was their liveliest performer, producing a neat attacking display and putting them ahead with an unstoppable first-timer in the first minute.

Leonardo Pereira brought Al-Nassr level with an equally impressive angled shot on 11 minutes and the Saudis were unlucky not to go ahead when they wasted a controversial penalty wrongly awarded for an alleged handball on right-back Osama Ibrahim, with television replays showing that a cross had only struck his legs.

Central defender Mahmoud Hamdi scored the winner for Zamalek on 37 minutes when he rose ahead of his marker to head home a free-kick.

Al-Nassr squandered a plenty of goal-scoring chances in the second half, with Zamalek claiming a morale-boosting win after a disappointing campaign saw them only collect one point from their opening two matches, having drawn 2-2 with Morocco’s FUS Rabat before suffering a painful 1-0 defeat by Al-Ahed.

The loss to the Lebanese side prompted the club to sack Inacio, with Tarek Yehia acting as a stop-gap coach. Zamalek are reportedly in talks with Uganda’s outgoing boss Milutin Sredojevic and Cameroon’s Hugo Broos to bring in a replacement for Inacio. 

Zamalek finished third in Group B with four points, one behind leaders FUS Rabat who qualified for the semis virtue of a better goal difference than second-placed Al-Ahed.

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