Zamalek crush Mahalla 4-0 to temporarily move top of Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Saturday 25 Dec 2021

Zamalek moved top of the Egyptian Premier League, at least temporarily, after producing a vivid attacking display to crush Ghazl El-Mahalla 4-0 at Cairo Stadium on Saturday.

Zamalek 4-0 Mahalla
Zamalek s Bencharki (L) celebrates one of the team s goals in a 4-0 Egyptian Premier League win over Ghazl El-Mahalla on Saturday (Ahram)

Two goals from Mostafa Fathi and Achraf Bencharki in the space of two first-half minutes gave Zamalek a comfortable half-time lead.

Moroccan winger Bencharki was on target again in the second half and substitute Mohamed Ounajem, who scored and provided an assist in Zamalek's 2-1 victory over Arab Contractors last Tuesday, also found the net as the White Knights claimed a comprehensive win.

The third successive victory sent Zamalek to the summit for the first time this season with 19 points from eight games. However, Ahly, who have 18 points from six matches, will regain their place on top if they beat top-flight debutants Future FC on Sunday.

Mahalla lie 10th in the table with 10 points from eight matches.

Zamalek's Tunisian forward Seifeddine Jaziri, back from international action at the Arab Cup in Qatar -- where he was the tournament's top scorer with four goals -- headed against the upright following a free-kick from Ahmed Zizo on 15 minutes.

As Zamalek poured forward en masse from the very beginning, Mahalla had a chance of their own midway through the first half when Abdo Yehia broke clear from almost the halfway line, only to send a tame shot straight at keeper Mohamed Abou-Gabal.

But that was as good as it got for Mahalla in a first half dominated by Zamalek, who also had a fierce shot by midfielder Emam Ashour denied by the crossbar.

They deservedly went ahead on 35 minutes when defender Mahmoud Alaa leapt above his marker to meet a cross from Tunisian right-back Hamza Mathlouthi with a header that came back off the crossbar, with the ball falling kindly for Fathi to volley into an empty net.

Bencharki doubled the lead two minutes later from a similar effort. A deflected shot from Ashour found Fathi, who hit the woodwork with only the keeper to beat but Bencharki followed up to fire home.

A brief period of Mahalla pressure early in the second half saw Malagasy winger Paulin Voavy rattle the crossbar with a powerful shot but Zamalek ended their faint hopes with two more goals.

In the 71st minute, Ounajem held off a tame challenge from a defender to cut inside him and fire home an angled effort in off the bar.

Bencharki completed the rout three minutes later in style, taking full advantage of a miscued clearance from defender Moaz El-Hennawi to race clear and superbly dink the ball over the advancing keeper and into the corner of the net.

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