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Hefny heroics help Zamalek overcome Smouha challenge
Zamalek beat Smouha 1-0 in the 25th round of the Egyptian Premier League in Suez Stadium to cement their place at the top of the table.
The Whites bagged all 3 points courtesy of Ayman Hefny’s penalty towards the end of the game, to maintain Jesualdo Ferreira’s perfect start to his reign at the Whites.
Zamalek XI :Ahmed El-Shennawy; Hazem Emam, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Dweidar (57′ Muhammed Koffi), Hamada Tolba; Ibrahim Salah, Ahmed Tawfik (45′ Omar Gaber), Maarouf Yusuf (70′ Bassem Morsi), Ayman Hefny; Ahmed Eid, Khaled Kamar.
Smouha XI: Al-Mahdi Soliman; El-Sayed Farid, Yasser Ibrahim, Mansou Kouakou, Ibrahim Hassan; Ahmed Shokry (80′ Alaa Aly), Ahmed Nabil Manga, Mostafa Talaat, Ibrahim Abdel-Khalek, Amr El-Menoufy (62′ Mohamed Ounsh); Hermann Kouao (52′ Hany El-Egeizy)
The match kicked off with both sides aiming to score, howver Smouha were the better side. In the 13th minute the Blue’s Kuakou sent in a cross from the left flank searching for Kouao, whose weak header didn’t cause any danger.
In the 17th minute Zamalek man Ayman Hefny skilfully broke through Smouha’s defence and went on goal, however Al-Mahdi Soliman intercepted the ball in the nick of time.
Two minutes in to stoppage time Ayman Hefny and Hazem Emam played a beautiful series of passes, however the Blue defence safely cleared the ball.
Ahmed Tawfik made way for Omar Gaber in the beginning of the second half, thus making Zamalek’s right-hand side much more potent.
On the hour mark, ex-Al Ahly forward Hany El-Egeizy came close to scoring the first goal of the evening. Ahmed Shokry skilfully took on three Zamalek players down the left-hand side of the penalty area before passing the ball to El-Egeizy whose strike was parried away by El-Shennawy.
In the 73rd minute, Ali Gabr came agonsingly close to scoring, but his powerful header was tipped over the bar by Al-Mahdi Soliman.
Ten minutes later and the Whites had their opening goal when Omar Gaber was taken down by Ibrahim Hassan inside the area; Hefny stepped up and slotted it past Soliman.
Zamalek are now top of the table with 51 points, extending the gap with ENPPI to seven points, whilst Smouha lie in 13th place with 28 points.