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VIDEO: Zamalek extend league leadership with comeback against minnows Al-Nasr
Goals from Basem Morsi, Mostafa Fathy and Omar Gaber saw Zamalek come from 1-0 down to win 3-1 against relegation-threatened Al-Nasr and extend their lead at the top of the Egyptian Premier League table to 6 points over ENPPI.
Zamalek XI: Gennesh; Hamada Tolba, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Dweidar, Ahmed Tawfik (’74 Mohamed Koffi); Mostafa Fathy, Hazem Emam (’61 Ayman Hefny), Omar Gaber, Tarek Hamed; Basem Morsi, Ahmed Eid (’86 Ahmed Samir)
Al-Nasr XI: Essam Tharwat, Ahmed Said, Abdallah Gomaa, Ahmed El-Siady (’87 Samuel Mantey), Ahmed Felix, Ahmed El-Agouz (’85 Karim El-Koumy), Dokhir Mohamed, Ousmane Keita, Mohamed El-Azab, Mohamed Zizo, Mohamed El-Refai (’57 Karim Atta).
Al-Nasr started off a motivated side and used their counter-attacks to push forward. Gennesh, replacing Ahmed El-Shennawy between the posts, was tested early on and made a great save to deny the away team an early goal. Both teams retained possession and showed hunger to snatch the opening goal, until Mohamed El-Azab broke the deadlock – scoring his first Premier League goal this season from a low shot in the 24th minute.
Hazem Emam started to create chances for Zamalek and they concluded their opening threats with an equalizer from Basem Mosri. The 23-year-old headed the ball into Tharwat’s net, converting Ali Gaber’s lobbed-header into his path 33 minutes from kick-off, scoring his 7th of the season.
Zamalek started to control the match afterwards by creating many chances and had claims for a penalty when the ball appeared to touch an Al-Nasr defender’s arm in the box, but the referee waved play on.
The Egyptian Premier League leaders continued with the same tempo, exploiting the right flank through Omar Gaber and Hazem Emam, but the scoresheet remained 1-1 going into half-time with Mohamed El-Azab and Bassem Morsi scoring the only goals.
Zamalek continued their attacks to prompt the guests’ head coach, El-Sayed Eid, to make his first substitution, with Karim Atta replacing right-back Mohamed El Refai to increase Al-Nasr’s presence up front, but little changed. Mohamed Salah, Zamalek’s head coach, subbed Hazem Emam off for the in-form Ayman Hefny to retain possession once again.
Mostafa Fathy sent a dangerous cross towards Morsi, who earned a penalty kick after falling in the box, which Fathy converted to score the second goal of the game in the 70th minute.
Burkina Faso defender Mohamed Koffi then entered the pitch for Ahmed Tawfik, and Al-Nasr continued tried to counter attack but failed to threaten Zamalek’s defence, with an exception of Zizo’s left-footed shot that hit the post 11 minutes before the final whistle. This effort, however, was counter attacked by Mostafa Fathy, who passed by Al-Nasr’s goalkeeper but missed an open net.
Mohamed Salah then replaced Ahmed Samir for Ahmed Eid, while Karim El-Koumy came on for the away team instead of El-Agouz to increase their chances of scoring a late equalizer.
Mohamed Maaroof added 4 additional minutes of stoppage time before Zamalek’s captain, Omar Gaber, wrapped up the game by scoring the Whites’ third goal with a shot on the right of Tharwat, following a great assist from Fathy.
Ahmed Samir received a yellow card in the 92nd minute for wasting time, which will now see the left-back miss their next match in a top-of-the-table encounter against ENPPI.
Zamalek secured their league leadership with 44 points – 6 points above ENPPI, who have a game in hand – while Al-Nasr remain in the relegation zone with 14 points.