Zamalek secure hard-fought win over Enppi to move joint second in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Saturday 2 Jan 2021

Zamalek beat Enppi 2-1 for their third win in their opening four games in the Egyptian Premier League


Zamalek claimed a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Enppi in an exciting Egyptian Premier League game in Cairo to move up to second on Saturday.

The White Knights went to the locker room with a comfortable 2-0 advantage after a near flawless display, thanks to an early penalty from Achraf Bencharki and a header from attacking midfielder Youssef Ibrahim.

Despite their dominance, Zamalek failed to kill off the game and had to endure some nervy moments in the last 20 minutes after Enppi's experienced defender Rami Sabri pulled one back with a far-post header.

But Zamalek held on for their third win in four league games, moving on level with defending champions Ahly on 10 points, one behind leaders Gouna who played a game more.

Enppi had an early chance when Nigerian John Ebuka sent a free header over the bar but Zamalek quickly assumed control, with their intricate passing game unsettling their opponents' defence.

They were awarded a penalty when Enppi's Tunisian defender Zied Boughattas, who made his debut, needlessly clattered into Bencharki as the Moroccan attempted to control a chipped pass in the area.

Bencharki stepped up to convert a penalty for the second straight game but Zamalek eased off after taking the lead, allowing Enppi to pour forward and apply pressure.

Enppi's best chance fell to Mohamed Morsi, who blasted high over when well-positioned to score after a pull-back from Karim Fouad on 34 minutes.

But Zamalek re-established their dominance in the latter stages of the first half, with lone striker Omar El-Said sending a diving header just wide following an inviting cross from winger Ahmed Zizo.

Another pinpoint Zizo cross found its way to the unmarked Ibrahim who made no mistake with a simple header to put Zamalek 2-0 up in the 44th minute.

Zizo was denied in a one-on-one after a deft pass from Bencharki in the early stages of the second half but Zamalek were then pegged back as Enppi mounted an onslaught.

Zamalek keeper Mohamed Abou-Gabal did well to smother a close-range shot from Ebuka but was at fault for Sabri's goal six minutes past the hour mark, with his poor positioning allowing the central defender to head in off the post after a free kick was whipped in from the left.

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