Substitute Ounajem leads Zamalek to league win over Arab Contractors

Ahram Online , Tuesday 21 Dec 2021

Mohamed Ounajem came off the bench to lead Zamalek to a narrow 2-1 win over Arab Contractors in the Egyptian Premier League on Tuesday.

Mohamed Ounajem
Mohamed Ounajem (L) celebrates his goal against Arab Contractors (Photo: Zamalek s official Twitter account)

Zamalek had territorial dominance and wasted several goal-scoring chances in the first half before the introduction of the Moroccan winger after the break made all the difference.

He set up Mostafa Fathi for the opener one minute past the hour mark before getting on the scoresheet himself with 14 minutes remaining.

Zamalek had to endure some nervy moments towards the end as Mohamed Salem pulled one back in stoppage time but the Cairo giants held on for a second straight win.

Contractors finished with ten men after Hassan El-Shami, who provided an assist for his side's only goal, received a straight red card for aiming an elbow at Fathi.

Zamalek lie third on 16 points, on level with second-placed Pyramids and two behind leaders Ahly. However, the latter teams have a game in hand apiece.

Contractors dropped to the 15th place in the 18-team table after only collecting five points from seven games.

Zamalek's Ivorian winger Razack Cisse, who returned to the club in the close season after a loan spell with Ittihad of Alexandria last term, made a surprising start after recovering from a lengthy injury layoff.

He could have opened the scoring as early as the eighth minute but his low shot was cleared off the line by Ahmed El-Sheemi.

Zamalek's pressure resulted in two further chances for lone striker Omar El-Said before Fathi broke the deadlock on 61 minutes.

Achraf Bencharki sent in a low cross across the face of the goal, which found compatriot Ounajem at the far post to pull the ball back to Fathi, who rifled a shot into the roof of the net.

Ounajem, who spent last season on loan at Morocco's Wydad Casablanca, doubled the lead on 76 minutes when he controlled a loose ball on his knee before sending an angled volley into the far bottom corner.

Salem outjumped Mohamed Abdel-Ghani to head home an inviting cross from El-Shami but it was too little, too late as Zamalek claimed all three points.

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