Toothless Zamalek held by Arab Contractors in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Sunday 25 Dec 2022

Zamalek's four-match winning run came to an end after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Arab Contractors in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday.

Zamalek v Arab Contractors


The White Knights were lucky not to concede in a first half dominated by Arab Contractors, who created at least three goal-scoring chances and a had goal chalked off for offside on the stroke of halftime.

They spurned another golden opportunity early in the second half before sitting back as Zamalek mounted pressure, albeit without posing much threat.

Zamalek are second in the table with 21 points, one behind leaders Ahly, who will extend their lead on top to four points if they beat Smouha later in the day.

Contractors lie seventh on 12 points from nine matches.

The hosts surprisingly took the game to Zamalek from the outset, adopting a bold approach and pressing their illustrious opponents high up the pitch.

Mohamed Salem, an ex-Zamalek striker, was guilty of wasting three clear-cut chances.

He sent a tame shot wide of the post after being released by a ball over the top and was foiled by a last-ditch interception from Zamalek defender Hossam Abdel-Maguid following a low cross from the left.

His best chance saw his near-post header cleared off the line by Ahmed Fattouh following a corner two minutes before the break.

Six minutes into the second period, Contractors' Abdel-Rahman Khaled raced clear following a defence-splitting pass but his low effort narrowly missed the target as Zamalek were given another reprieve.

Zamalek's veteran coach Jesualdo Ferreira threw on his key men, including schemer Mahmoud Shikabala, in a bid to revitalize his toothless attack but the team still struggled to threaten Contractor's watertight defence.

Their only real chance fell to Tunisian striker Seifeddine Jaziri, whose back-heel effort from a Shikabala cross was blocked by the keeper as Contractors and Zamalek shared honours.

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