Abdel-Monsef's heroic display saves Wadi Degla against Zamalek

Karim Farouk , Monday 1 Mar 2021

The 44-year-old keeper saved a late penalty to frustrate his old team, who wasted a host of chances


Wadi Degla keeper Mohamed Abdel-Monsef produced a heroic display to frustrate his former team and current league leaders Zamalek with a 0-0 draw on Monday.

The 44-year-old goalie made a string of superb saves, including a late penalty, to give his team a much-needed point.

Wadi Degla are at bottom of the 18-team table with just eight points, while Zamalek have extended their lead at the top with 30 points, six ahead of second-placed Ahly, who have played three games less.

Zamalek missed an early chance as Achraf Bencharki could have put the Whites ahead as early as the sixth minute. The Moroccan winger dispossessed defender Mohamed Marei to go clear on target, only to be denied by a superb save from Abdel-Monsef.

After that early threat, Wadi Degla upped their game at both ends of the pitch. The first half produced end-to-end action with both sides missing chances, as Rodney Antwi and Salah Amin wasted a couple of clear-cut chances, while Abdel-Monsef had to make some fine saves to deny Youssef "Obama" Ibrahim, Bencharki and Seifeddin Jaziri at the other end.

After the interval, Zamalek pressed their opponents high up the pitch making it difficult for them to move the ball through the midfield.

As the pressure mounted on Wadi Degla, the veteran keeper pulled off further saves from Jaziri, Ferjani Sassi and second half substitutes Osama Faisal and Abdallah Gomaa.

Bencharki was unlucky to hit the woodwork just after the hour mark, as he was found unmarked at the far post, but the Moroccan headed at the bar.

Wadi Degla's only real chance in this half was in the 78th minute when Hossam Arafat crossed at the far post to Diego Calderon, who rose above his marker but headed the ball next to the post.

Abdel-Monsef cemented his status as the hero of the night after blocking a penalty kick from Gomaa in the 88th minute following a VAR consultation that adjudged Arafat to have handballed the ball in the area.

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