Zamalek's palymaker Shikabala battles with Beni Suef palyers. (Photo: Bassam El-Zoghby)
Ahmed Hossam “Mido”scored his second goal in as many matches to secure Zamalek’s 2-0 win over Bani Suef Telephones at Arab Contractors stadium on Monday.
The former Tottenham and Ajax striker came off the bench in the 73th minute, replacing Ahmed Gaafar, to double Zamalek’s lead nine minutes later after Hussein Hamdy gave Zamalek a 26th-minute opener.
The result lifts the Whites’ to the fourth place with 16 points, nine behind leaders Haras El-Hodoud who played three games more.
Bani Suef Telephones made an explosive start, creating some clear-cut chances after exploiting the gaps in the midfield of Zamalek, whose coach Hassan Shehata opted for a classic 4-4-2 formation that featured Ahmed Merghany and Ibrahim Salah as the defensive midfielders.
Mostafa Mehanna rose above the defenders to meet Abdallah Ragab’s free kick only to be denied by an amazing reflex save from Zamalek keeper Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed.
A few minutes later he came close to scoring after escaping his marker Salah Soliman to go clear but his initial attempt failed to beat El-Sayed, and then his rebound crashed off the post.
Against the run of play, Hussein Hamdy opened the scoring in the 26th minute in Zamalek’s first sight of goal. Flamboyant winger Mahmoud Abdel-Razek “Shikabala” connected with striker Ahmed Gaafar, who set up Hamdy to score from inside the box.
Shikabala could have doubled the lead in the 29th minute after a one-two with Hamdy but his effort was denied by keeper Ahmed Fawzy.
Bani Suef Telephones came back determined after the break, piling pressure on Zamalek in the early stages in a scenario similar to the first-half’s but Mehanna blasted wide another easy opportunity from inside the box.
Shehata tried to boost his midfield, bringing in Omar Gaber and Mohamed Said who replaced Hamdy and Egypt skipper Ahmed Hassan respectively.
They became more cautious and relied on counter attacks in their opponents’ empty spaces, letting the newly promoted side gain possession in midfield but without any threat on goal.
Mido came into action in the 73rd minute to play his second match of the season after appearing in a few minutes against Ghazl El-Mahalla in the season’s opener.
Still looking over-weight, Mido secured the victory in the 82nd minute after sliding in Ahmed Samir’s low cross from inside the six yards.
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