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Zamalek victorious on Ferreira’s Egyptian debut
The Suez Stadium hosted the White Knights’ encounter against Dakhleya in a match relocated from Cairo amid security concerns.
Zamalek: Ahmed El Shenanwi, Hamada Tolba, Ahmed Dweidar, Ali Gabr, Hazem Emam, Ibrahim Salah, Ahmed Tawfik, Maarouf Youssef, Ayman Hefny, Ahmed Ali, Khaled Kamar.
Dakhleya: Ahmed Fawzy, Ahmed Katawy, Hossam Abd El Gawwad, Rashad Farouk, Assem Saeed, Nour Garhy, Emanuel Carbougi, Gehad Guinidi, Fareed Shawky, Hossam Paulo, Hossam Hassan.
On a sunny afternoon in Suez, former Porto manager Jesualdo Ferreira debuted on the Zamalek bench and was greeted with a subpar display of football; both teams showed signs of lack of match fitness, with Zamalek stereo-typically attacking and Dakhleya defending with 11 men behind the ball.
The tempo of the match was initially slow, with the first notable play being in the 28th minute when Hefny tried a left-footed shot that went wide of Fawzy’s left side post.
In the second half, Zamalek kept up the pressure, and in the 54th minute, Ahmed Ali missed a chance to open the scoring, when Khaled Kamar brilliantly grounded a through pass from the Zamalek midfield and passed brilliantly to Ali, whose shot hit the goalkeeper.
In the 60th minute, Hamada Tolba made a run from his left back position and managed to run past two defenders and slot the ball from distance into the near side of the net to score Zamalek’s first goal of the match.
This prompted the game to become relatively more open and the Dakhleya players started to venture forward more. This opened spaces Zamalek’s offense were craving for, and Ayman Hefny was thriving in the middle of the park.
Dakhleya almost managed to score an immediate equalizer in the 63rd minute when a lofted free-kick found Emauele, who headed the ball diagonally to the far post. Hossam Hassan tried to slot the ball past Shenawy, who managed to save with his legs.
Ahmed Ali made way for Omar Gaber, and Mohamed El Fayoumi went in for Rashad Farouk as both teams looked to expand their play in the 66th minute, and the effects could be seen almost immediately. The young Zamalek star went on a left-sided run with the ball and managed to increase the tempo of play.
A moment of controversy came into play when Katawy handled the ball when in the wall, blocking a Omar Gaber free kick in the 70th minute and a penalty was awarded. Ahmed Eid managed to score from the spot.
In the end, Zamalek managed to gain three important points, and lead the table with 51 points.