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Matchday Two Roundup: All the action from the Egyptian Premier League
All the action from Matchday Two of the 2013/2014 Egyptian Premier League season.
Another exciting day in the Egyptian Premier League, adding to yesterday’s 15 goals in five games to conclude Matchday Two. From Mahalla’s loss to the Arab Contractors/Ragaa goal fest, the reaction of the Ittihad board members and Gouna back to their best. It’s also worth noting that Al Ahly, similar to their arch-rivals, didn’t play today. The back-to-back African Champions have agreed to play a friendly in Kuwait against Kuwait SC, which means that their game against Dakhleya has been postponed to the 10th of February.
Ghazl El-Mahalla 0-1 Smouha
Mahalla’s first game in the Mahalla Stadium since 2012 ended in a bitter defeat against Smouha. El Falaheen missed several chances which could’ve changed the game’s outcome. It was Smouha’s first game of the season, and they managed to get all three points in probably one of the hardest stadiums to go to.
Smouha’s only goal of the game could probably be the strangest goal in recent seasons. Unsurprisingly, it was Ernst Papa Arko who decided the game. The Ghanaian striker’s corner (which was aimed at the near post) was not cleared at all, no player got a touch on it, and it managed to find its way in the back of the Falaheen net. Replays in fact do show that no Mahalla player touched the ball, and the reason Al Mahdi Soliman didn’t react is that the ball took him by surprise, much to the dismay of Mahalla coach Farouk Gaafar. El Falaheen now have one point from two games, and have now lost a game in which they conceded a simple goal, and they missed several chances.
Arab Contractors 4-2 Al-Ragaa
The Contractors youngsters have done it again. Ze’ab El Gabal have managed to wow us with their fantastic football in recent seasons and most of the players have been promoted from the youth sides. In 10/11 and 11/12 it was Mohamed Salah and Mohamed El-Nenny, in 12/13 it was Mohamed Zika, and this season it may well be Mohamed Salem.
Contractors opened the scoring from a fatal Ragaa mistake. Ahmed El-Shahat opted to come out and collect a cross, only to change his mind causing a real mix-up in the defence. Tigani Shams El-Din was on the end of the cross, as it hit his abdomen and went in. The Mountain Wolves doubled their lead three minutes later, through another Ragaa mistake. Ahmed El-Shahat spilled a cross coming from the left, Mohamed Salem was in the right place at the right time and with a side-foot finish made it 2-0. Thirteen minutes later the yellow-blacks made it three. Mohamed Farouk notched onto a through pass and scored with a cheeky finish. Ragaa pulled one back through Tarek Salem. The Contractors defence left Salem unmarked when trying to defend a cross and the Ragaa forward made the most of it. The Montain Wolves scored number four when Mohamed Adel converted his penalty. The Marsa Matruh team scored a consolation goal when they were awarded a penalty late on. Tarek Salem was brought down in the box, and Tamer Moheb stepped up to make it 4-2.
El-Gouna 1-0 Entag El-Harby
Gouna got their first win of the season against Ismail Youssef’s Entag at the El-Gouna Stadium. The season looks like it’s going to be long one for Entag.
There have been debates as to who scored the goal in the first place. Should it count as a Minsu Buba goal, or a Fahim own goal? A free-kick was played to Buba who rose above everyone, headed the ball, but it’s debatable to whether it would’ve actually gone in if it wasn’t for the Amr Fahim touch.
Writer’s opinion: In my humble opinion, it should be removed from Buba’s tally. Amr Fahim’s touch was the goal. That is why Nader Saad didn’t react.
Gouna’s goal – Did the authorities get it right?
The first stalemate draw of the season is between Za’eem el Thaghr and Maqassa at the Alexandria Stadium. The third-most supported club in Egypt have now got two points from two games, but this game is one in which they could’ve won against a Maqassa side who weren’t at their best.
The best Maqassa chance came through veteran defender Ahmed El-Sayed, whose header hit the side netting. Former Zamalek striker Mohamed El-Morsi missed a glorious chance to put Ittihad ahead, when his finished went over the bar. Ittihad’s board members all jumped out their seat thinking it was going in, but it didn’t. In the last minute Mohamed Farouk’s header went over the bar as well, in what was probably the most dangerous chance of the game.