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Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Departing coach Pacheco leads Zamalek to victory against Ceramica

Karim Farouk , Thursday 11 Mar 2021
Zamalek
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In what could be his last game at Zamalek, Coach Jaime Pacheco gave the club's fans the best farewell present as they beat surprise package Ceramica Cleopatra 2-0 on Thursday.

Two first-half goals from Moroccan forward Achraf Bencharki and midfielder Emam Ashour extend the Whites' lead at the top with 33 points after 14 games. While Ceramica Cleopatra, who are making a good impact in their maiden Premier League season have dropped to eighth with 21 points.

Pacheco may have said goodbye to his players after the game as Frenchman Patrice Carteron landed in Cairo earlier on Thursday amid reports that he will take on the team.

Zamalek had a blistering start scoring in quick fire succession inside the 19 minutes.

A clever long ball by Tunisian midfielder Ferjani Sassi released Bencharki on the left flank to cut inside the box and strike at the far post in the fifth minute.

Ceramica Cleopatra could have gone level but Shady Hussein and Ahmed Rayan were guilty of squandering easy chances from inside the box.

On the other end, Zamalek showed the value of the clinical touch when Emam Ashour was set up in the area by midfield maestro Sassi to send a left-footed shot at the top in the 19th minute.

With two goals down, Ceramica had no option then but to press forward and were denied by some fine saves from Zamalek goalie Mahmoud "Gennesh" Abdel-Rehim.

After the break, Ceramica upped their game in an attempt to get back in the game. Rayan could have pulled one back when he was sent clear on goal just before the hour mark but his poor effort was saved by Gennesh.

As Ceramica were rushing forward, Zamalek found acres of spaces at the back.

Bencharki scored on a counter but the goal was disallowed after VAR review. The Moroccan missed another chance later on and Youssef "Obama" Ibrahim hit the side netting after being set up by Ashour.

Rayan, Hussein and second half substitute Ahmed Mohsen kept on trying but they lacked efficiency in addition to some superb saves from Gennesh prevented them from getting anything out of this game. 

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