Ittihad score late to punish wasteful Zamalek

Mahmoud Sheleib , Monday 10 Aug 2020

Zamalek are now in third place on the table with 35 points after 18 matches just like Pyramids FC who have a better goal difference

File photo of a league game between Zamalek and Ittihad (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A depleted Ittihad of Alexandria side stunned Zamalek by scoring an injury time equalizer on Monday (1-1) in their league returning following a forced five-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Second half substitute Ahmed Rashed scored in the 93rd minute to cancel Ferjani Sassi 43rd minute lead.

It was a hard-fought point as Ittihad coach Talaat Youssef had to do without 8 key players due to injuries, suspensions and some foreign players who failed to report back on time due to disrupted travel conditions.

Zamalek dropped two precious points as they are now tied with Pyramids FC with 35 points in their race to the second spot that will secure them a place in next season's Champions League. Ittihad remain fifth with 28 points.

The Whites enjoyed a crushing domination but missed a number of clear cut chances, with Ittihad keeper Emad El-Sayed making some fine saves to concede only one goal from 16 shots, including 8 on target.

French coach Patrice Carteron made some tactical changes in the starting lines by pushing natural central midfielder Sassi into a more offensive position to play behind strikers, while giving defensive midfield roles for Mohamed Hassan and the linchpin Tarek Hamed who missed last week's game against Masry.

Zamalek dominated the first half and finally got what they deserved when the unwatched Ferjani Sassi received a rebound cleared by the defense to score easily from inside the box in the 44th minute.

After the interval Carteron brought in Moroccan duo Achraf Bencharki and Mohamed Ounajem to increase their domination and threat.

International striker Mostafa Mohamed and Ahmed "Zizo" El Sayed squandered easy chances that could have put the game beyond doubts.

Ittihad pressed forward in the final minutes especially that coach Youssef had refreshed his team after completing his five substitutes in the 75th minute.

Rashed received an impressive assist from Khaled Kamar to fire home the equalizer from inside the box. 

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