Preview: Zamalek finally clicking into gear under Ferreira

Ahram Online , Friday 8 Apr 2022

Zamalek are finally starting to find their feet under new coach Jesualdo Ferreira as they meet second-from-bottom Maqassa in the Egyptian Premier League on Saturday.

Zamalek v Pyramids
Zamalek defeated Pyramids FC 3-2 for their first victory since Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira returned to the club (Ahram)

The Cairo giants grabbed their first win under the veteran Portuguese coach when they beat fellow title challengers Pyramids FC 3-2 in an exciting clash on Wednesday to leapfrog the big-spending club into second in the league table.

They also looked a much improved version from the side that lost to Morocco's Wydad before being held to draws by Angolan duo Petro Atletico and Sagrada Esperanca in the African Champions League following Ferreira's return last month.

The dismal continental campaign, which looked doomed to fail even before Ferreira's arrival, ended without a single group-stage win for Zamalek but the 75-year-old is confident he can still rescue their season.

Zamalek are still in the race to retain their league crown, as they are only three points behind leaders Ahly, although their perennial Cairo rivals have a game in hand.

"Today's game was important because we were behind Pyramids in the standings and what's even more important than our win is that we returned to our normal self," Ferreira, who led the team to a rare domestic double in 2015 during his previous stint at the helm, said following Zamalek's victory.

Maqassa made a disastrous start to the new season, collecting just nine points from 12 matches, having won only once in October last year.

Key winger Ahmed Zizo returned to Zamalek's squad after missing the win over Pyramids for disciplinary reasons, having reportedly fallen out with the club over late wages.

Zamalek will have to without influential central defender Mahmoud El-Wensh, who was sent off in stoppage time against Pyramids after picking up a second booking.

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