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VIDEO: Zamalek held by Al Ahly in 109th league Cairo Derby
Al Ahly drop another two points after drawing 1-1 with bitter rivals Zamalek in the most famous Egyptian derby. The Whites scored first through in-form Ayman Hefny, but minutes later Al Ahly equalized through Walid Soliman after his free-kick crept into Ahmed El-Shennawy’s goal.
Zamalek XI: Ahmed El Shennawy; Hamada Tolba, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Dweidar, Omar Gaber; Hazem Emam (84′ Mohamed Koffi), Ibrahim Salah, Ahmed Tawfik, Ahmed Eid, Ayman Hefny (90′ Mostafa Fathi); Ahmed Ali (42′ Basem Morsi)
Al Ahly XI: Mossad Awad; Bassem Ali, Saad Samir, Mohamed Naguib, Sabry Rahil; Walid Soliman (68′ Ahmed Abdel-Zaher), Hossam Ashour, Mohamed Rizk, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Abdallah El-Said (77′ Ramdan Sobhy); Emad Meteb (77′ Saladin Said).
Both teams kicked off the game in full offensive mode with Zamalek unleashing the first shot in the early seconds of the game. Ayman Hefny sprinted past Ahly midfielders and took a shot from 30 yards out, but it was off target.
In the 15th minute, Al Ahly almost scored the first through Walid Soliman. After winning a corner, Abdallah El-Said passed the ball to Saad Samir inside the right flank of the box and Samir fed Soliman, whose powerful shot was saved by Shennawy’s finger tips.
Thirty one minutes into the game Mohamed Salah’s key player, Ayman Hefny, drew first blood for Zamalek by scoring the first goal of the match. The attacking midfielder crossed the ball from 25 yards down the left side of the box and it chipped over Egypt U-23 goalkeeper Mossad Awad.
However, just 4 minutes later, Al Ahly came back through Walid Soliman, who curled in a free-kick from the right side of the pitch which bounced by everyone in the box and crept in Shennawy’s far post.
The second half started with tensions in the stands as fans sneaked in, although the match was supposed to be behind closed doors. Again, Zamalek were dominant in the second half as they came close through striker Basem Morsi in the 65th minute.
Ahly’s Sabry Rahil. formerly of Zamalek miss-passed the ball and Omar Gaber latched onto it, sprinting down the right flank before squaring the ball to Bassem. The striker had the best chance to score in the second half, if not the whole game, but he panicked and recklessly passed the ball back on the edge of the box for Al Ahly’s defense to clear it.
Zamalek were denied a clear-cut opportunity when the Moroccan linesman had wrongly raised his flag for an offside against Ahmed Eid, when the Whites had a potential two-on-one situation.
The Red Devils’ star, Walid Soliman, got injured in the 68th minute following a strong tackle by Zamalek’s captain Omar Gaber. Soliman seemed to be injured badly as he was substituted off and replaced by Ahmed Abdel-Zaher.
Juan Carlos Garrido attempted to inject some pace into his attack with the introductions of Ethiopia international Saladin Said and 17-year-old Ramadan Sobhy, but they failed to make much of an impact as the game ended 1-1.
Zamalek retained their 8-point gap over Al Ahly at the top of the table, but have now failed to beat the Red Devils for the 20th successive time, with their last win coming in 2007.