Zamalek held to frustrating draw by Ismaily in Jose Gomes's debut

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Feb 2024

Zamalek's new era under Jose Gomes got off to a stuttering start as they were held to a goalless draw by Ismaily in the Egyptian Premier League on Monday.

Zamalek new signing Abdallah El-Said in action against Ismaily. Photo: Zamalek X account.


The White Knights, who have made several high-profile signings in recent weeks, were hoping to make a statement in their first match under their new Portuguese coach, but none of the signings could make an impact.

Just two weeks ago, Zamalek signed Gomes, making him their third coach in the current season after Juan Carlos Osorio and Moatamed Gamal.

Veteran playmaker Abdallah El-Said and Egypt U23 midfielder Mohamed Shehata started the game but the latter was substituted just after the half hour mark after being cautioned. 

Former Ahly playmaker Nasser Maher was introduced in the second half, and despite showing signs of his talent, couldn't make the difference.

Zamalek started the game strong and dominated possession but struggled to penetrate a resolute Ismaily defence.

Ismaily had the first sight of goal when Abdel Rahman Magdy fired over the bar from the edge of the box then Nader Farag failed to exploit Mohamed Sobhi's missed pass and was dispossessed by Hamza Mathlouthi before he could score.

Zamalek soon took control and created several promising opportunities.

Ahmed "Zizo" El Sayed was clear on target but failed to dribble past keeper Ahmed Abdel-Moneim.

Five minutes later, Obama collected the rebound in the box but the bar denied his powerful shot.

Coach Gomes made an early substitution in the 35th minute, bringing on Tunisian striker Seifeddine Jaziri for Shehata.

Both sides had free-kick opportunities but failed to convert.

The Cairo giants maintained their pressure after the break as the hosts sat back on defence.

After being introduced in the 76th minute, Maher provided several scoring opportunities to his teammates but Jaziri lacked precision in front of goal.

Abdel-Moneim made a brilliant save in the 80th minute to deny a point-blank header from Jaziri and maintain the stalemate.

Ismaily defended resolutely and relied on counterattacks, but they posed no real threat to Zamalek's keeper.

The result leaves Zamalek languishing in 13th place in the league table with 12 points after nine games. Ismaily, on the other hand, are 14th with also 12 points but from 12 games.

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