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VIDEO: Cairo giants draw in Gouna as Abou-Treika returns with 12th derby goal
Abou-Treika scored his 12th derby goal today as Al-Ahly and Zamalek drew 1-1 in El-Gouna Stadium in the African Champions League.
The Cairo derby, contrary to the name, was held in El-Gouna today – a small Red Sea resort north of Hurghada. The change of city is due to security concerns in the Egyptian capital, which is still facing the political turmoil that followed since the army toppled president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.
Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras White Knights filled up a large portion of the 12,000-seater Gouna Stadium, despite Zamalek stressing that the game was to be played behind closed doors.
Despite the presence of fans, the match went ahead on schedule during the 37°C (99°F) heat in Egypt with kick-off at 4.30pm, while the players continued to abstain from food and drink due to the fasting hours of Ramadan.
Striker Ahmed Gaafar, who recently signed a new 3-year contract with Zamalek, gave the club an eighth minute lead following a scramble after Egypt’s current No. 1 failed to hold onto Mohamed Ibrahim’s cross from a free-kick near the corner flag. Omar Gaber quickly pounced on Ekramy’s error before Gaafar fired home.
Ahly struggled to build-up play during the first half but were denied a huge penalty shout when Mahmoud Fathallah appeared to have tripped Abdullah El-Said from behind, with Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi waving play on.
Fathallah struck again as the Red Devils began to really threaten their Cairo rivals’ defense in the second half – who appeared to begin to sit back after the break – but the Egypt international was found guilty for his challenge against Ahmed Abdul-Zaher and Ahly were awarded the clear penalty.
Egyptian legend Mohamed Abou-Treika, whose loan spell with Bani Yas in the UAE ended earlier in the summer, leveled the score from the spot to take his Cairo derby goal tally to 12 – a record among active players – and only one behind all-time leading marksman Mahmoud ‘Al-Tetsh’ Mokhtar – who passed away in 1965.
Shikabala made his first appearance for the Whites in over 14 months despite returning early from his loan spell with Emirati outfit Al-Wasl. The Zamalek icon wasn’t in form, but still provided a few dangerous balls into Ahly’s box towards the end of the match.
Abou-Treika took the first opportunity to welcome Shikabala back:
The result means that all four teams in Group A are tied on a single point after AC Leopards drew 0-0 away to South Africa’s Orlando Pirates.
According to the BBC, CAF will not take action against the clubs, despite Zamalek recently claiming to have received a strong warning from the governing body of African Football, because the decision to admit fans was taken by the country’s security forces, rather than by the clubs.