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VIDEO: Zamalek scramble against Wadi Degla to keep semi-final hopes alive
The Whites fought to secure a valuable point in injury-time in a 2-2 comeback draw against Wadi Degla on Tuesday.
Wadi Degla XI: Essam El-Hadary, Ragab Nabil, Taha Adel, Mohamed El-Hosary, Sayed Salem, Akwetey Mensah, Mohamed El-Merghany, Mostafa Talaat, Mohab Said, Ahmed Salama, Abdel-Fatah El-Agha
Defensive midfielder Nour El-Sayed and centre-back Yasser Ibrahim both went straight back into Mido’s starting eleven after serving suspensions.
15-year old wide player Khalil Heggy “Neymar” was also on the bench, although did not feature for the Whites.
Zamalek held possession and created numerous goalscoring opportunities in the first half. Mohamed Ibrahim and Momen Zakaria got in between Wadi Degla’s lines constantly, although El-Hadary was quick off his line and made some good reaction saves.
After an error at the back by Yasser Ibrahim, Wadi Degla got forward and crossed the ball which deflected in Abdel-Wahed’s net off the head of Mostafa Talaat rather fortunately against the run of play.
Zamalek were again putting together some dangerous plays in Wadi Degla’s third until the end of the first half. However, El-Hadary’s long ball to Abdel-Fattah El-Agha wasn’t dealt with properly by Mahmoud Fathallah and allowed the Syrian striker to score his second goal in as many games against the Whites this season.
Mido brought on wantaway striker Ahmed Gaafar in the place of Ahmed Ali at the beginning of the second half, and later changed his team’s shape as youngster Youssef “Obama” and Hazem Emam took the places of Mostafa Fathi and Nour El-Sayed.
Mohamed Ibrahim had the opportunity to begin the comeback early with a penalty however missed hit the post from the spot for the second time in a row.
It seemed as though Zamalek’s fate was sealed outside of the semi-final spots, but not for the first time this season the Whites were able to score a late goal. Ahmed Gaafar’s movement in the box allowed substitute Hazem Emam to find him with an inswinging cross and head home to steal a point.
With three points separating Zamalek and Ittihad El-Shorta, and the two sides meeting in their final league game, the Whites have set up their most important domestic game of the season as a qualifier for a semi-final place.