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Zamalek stall as Wadi Degla stand firm
Zamalek’s first match under Pacheco ends in a 0-0 draw as the Giza-based club continued to drop points while the Wadi Degla picked up a valuable point in their effort to avoid relegation.
The White Knights led by Pacheco and Mohamed Salah went with a balanced formation with a particular interest in how Ahmed Samir will cope at left-back in Mohamed Abdel-Shafy’s absense, who left for Al-Ahli Jeddah on loan in Saudi Arabia.
The Egyptian Premier League minnows Wadi Degla opted for a balanced formation with attacking intent on Hamada Sedky’s debut as former Zamalek youngster Hossam Arafat, former Ismaily winger Mohab Said and Mohamed ‘Dodo’ El-Gabas were given the opportunity to provide the sparks needed for a surprise win.
Zamalek XI: Ahmed El-Shennawy; Ali Gabr, Ahmed Dweidar, Hazem Emam (Mohamed Koffi ’83), Ahmed Samir; Ibrahim Salah, Tarek Hamed, Ahmed Eid (Ayman Hefny ’45), Momen Zakaria, Khaled Kamar (Obama ’70), Abdoulaye Cissé .
Wadi Degla XI: Amir Abdel-Hamid; Tamer Moheb, Ragab Nabil, Karim Mosaad, Taha Adel; Islam Adel, Ahmed Abdel-Raouf, Mohab Said (Ahmed El-Merghany ’87), Hossam Arafat; Stanley (Al Agha ’70), Mohamed El-Gabas.
In the first half Zamalek started brightly going on the attack, creating many chances holding possession well. In the 8th minute, Momen Zakaria had a valuable chance but didn’t manage to capitalise on Ahmed Eid’s assist, with the Wadi Degla keeper Amir Abdel-Hamid rushing out of his goal to make a save.
Zamalek continued piling on the pressure and in the 16th minute the Knights were awarded a penalty after a Degla player handled the ball inside the penalty box. Ahmed Eid stepped up to take the penalty but his shot was saved as Amir Abdel-Hamid threw himself at the ball.
Hazem Emam came close to scoring a brilliant goal as he passed to Eid who returned the pass as a lob into the box over the Degla defenders with Emam managing to volley the ball over the bar from a tight angle.
As the second half begun, Zamalek introduced Ayman Hefny behind the strikers for Ahmed Eid.
In the 50th minute, Mohamed El-Gabas scuffed his attempt on goal from 19 yard as he fired wide after a pass from Stanley. Zamalek troubled by Degla’s counter attack responded immediately in the 51st as Ayman Hefny managed to dribble through a few Degla defenders and quickly shooting at goal only to see Abdel-Hamid attempting to make a save and fumble the ball with a Zamalek attacker following up with a shot, only for the linesman to call an offside decision.
Zamalek increased the pressure, with the touch-line looking as active as the players on the pitch; Pacheco characteristically energetic and fuming, Salah keeping the tempo up with his instructions. Zamalek defender Dweidar missed an incredible chance in the 54th. Dweidar received the ball from 2 yards out and put his foot through the ball expecting a goal only to see his attempt hit the post.
The game went back and forth in the midfield as both teams struggled to maintain possession and control the game until the end of the match with the game ending goalless.
Zamalek are now on a 270 minute goal drought with the last recorded goal in the second week against Al Geish with Momen Zakaria scoring the last goal in his hat trick part of Zamalek’s 6-1 thumping of the Egyptian military club.
Zamalek maintain their tenth position with six points and are come up against Smouha next who surprisingly lost to Dakhliya.
Wadi Degla go eleventh with 5 points and play Ittihad who are yet to play this week their scheduled game against Ittihad Al Shorta.