Zamalek exit Arab Championship after shootout defeat by Ittihad

Hatem Maher , Friday 30 Nov 2018

Zamalek v Ittihad
Ittihad eliminate Zamalek from the Zayed Cup last 16 (Ahram)

In another upset at the Arab Zayed Champions Cup, Cairo giants Zamalek were eliminated at the last-16 stage after a 4-3 shootout defeat by surprise package Ittihad of Alexandria following a 1-1 aggregate draw in Cairo on Friday.

Zamalek were firm favourites to advance after beating Ittihad 1-0 away but a feeble display saw them concede a late goal from substitute Emmanuel Banahene, with the match going straight into penalties.

Both sides wasted two spot-kicks and they had to be separated by a sudden death, with Ittihad taking advantage after Zamalek's Tunisian right-back Hamdi Nagguez fired against the bar.

Mohamed Nassef, an ex-Zamalek left-back, dispatched the decisive penalty as Ittihad enjoyed another famous win to book a last-eight berth and continue a fairytale run which also saw them eliminate title holders and recently-crowned African Champions Esperance of Tunisia in the previous round.

Zamalek, who have enjoyed a fine run of late to go six points clear on top of the Egyptian league table, became the latest high-profile casualty following Cairo rivals Ahly, who were knocked out at the hands of UAE club Al-Wasl at the same stage.

Chances were at a premium in a dour first half as both sides struggled to carve out openings.

Ittihad had a couple of half-chances saved by Zamalek keeper Mahmoud Gennesh while the hosts could not make use of their territorial dominance.

Zamalek forward Youssef Ibrahim had two efforts to kill off the game in the second half but missed the target with the goal gaping on both occasions.

They were punished in the 84th minute when Ghanaian striker Banahene rose unmarked to power a glancing header home following an inviting cross from Razak Cisse, who is on loan from Zamalek.

Alexandria-based club Ittihad prevailed in the shootout to send the visiting supporters into delirium.

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