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VIDEO: Zamalek win 22nd Egypt Cup title to end trophy drought
Leading into the game the majority of the press suggested that the White Knights were favourites to win the illustrious cup for the 22nd time in the club’s history, whilst others cautioned Helmy Toulan to tread lightly in the game, sounding echoes of the 2011 heartbreak against ENPPI.
Only 3 of Zamalek’s current squad have seen a trophy in the fabled White shirt. Abdelwahed El-Sayed, Shikabala and Ahmed Samir.
Hany Ramzy was adamant that his team were not an underdog heading into the game, suggesting that his side could have pulled off a win.
The first half was at first really tense with Wadi Degla keeping most of the possession and came close to scoring through Ethiopian striker Saladin Ahmed, who saw his shot go wide of the left corner. Zamalek then retained possession and found the back of the net in the 12th minute after Ahmed Gaafar took advantage of the inexperienced Wadi Degla defence and slotted home from a corner. The remainder of the first half continued with the same intensity, but with no real chances for both teams.
The White Knights began the second half more positive than the first with Hazem Emam and Abdelshafi constantly pushing forward to help Shikabala and Ahmed Eid, 11 minutes into the second half the Whites scored again, Ahmed Gaafar with his second. After good link-up play between Shikabala and Ahmed Eid, Gaafar leaped to head home after Eid’s cross, showing shades of Zamalek legend Hossam Hassan. It was just 6 minutes later when the Whites increased their lead, and who other than Shikabala to have scored, who saw his amazing free-kick just curl into the far corner. 3-0 it ended, Zamalek had ended the drought.
Zamalek haven’t had the best of seasons in recent years, what with all of the financial trouble and constant board changes. Hopefully this will be the base of a better, more consistent Zamalek.