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Zamalek struggle away to Wadi Degla in 1-1 draw
Zamalek could only draw 1-1 away to Wadi Degla in the Egyptian Premier League on Monday, after a strong Essam El-Hadary performance.
Zamalek went into the game with 31 points from 16 games, while opponents Wadi Degla were in 14th place with 21 points from 16 matches as well.
Wadi Degla XI: El-Hadary, Salem, Ragab Nabil, Mahmoud Alaa, Adel; Talaat, Galal, Arafat, Mamdouh, Malouda; Stanley.
— KingFut.com (@King_Fut) February 14, 2016
Wadi Degla fired a warning shot five minutes in, but Karim Mamdouh’s effort hit the side netting.
Nevertheless, the hosts took the lead in the 12th minute after debutant Florent Malouda – who completed his move to the club last month – played in a superb corner, which was headed past El-Shennawy by Mahmoud Alaa.
Former Zamalek man Hossam Arafat had a shot saved by the Egyptian national team goalkeeper, as his side looked for a second goal.
Zamalek finally got things going in the 40th minute; Shikabala’s effort was a cheeky one as it threatened the Degla defence, but went just wide of El-Hadary’s post.
In the final moments of the first half Karim Mamdouh missed a wonderful chance to double Degla’s lead as Malouda sent him one on one with El-Shennawy, but the latter was up to Mamdouh’s effort and ensured his side went into the half-time break trailing by just a single goal.
Just seconds after the break, Stanley was fouled by Ali Gabr in the box and Wadi Degla were awarded a penalty, but the Cairo-based oufit again missed the chance to double their lead as Malouda hit the crossbar from the spot.
Wadi Degla were made to pay for their profligacy in the 62nd minute; Shikabala beat the offside trap before setting up Mostafa Fathi, whose cross-shot converted in by Bassem Morsi’s head for his first league goal this season.
Seven minutes later, Zamalek were the ones guilty of failing to take their chances, as Bassem Morsi missed a one-on-one with El-Hadary who blocked the striker’s shot.
The four-time African Cup of Nations winning goalkeeper would deny Morsi again in the 86th minute as his side held on for a point, after good work by Omar Gaber.
The result means Zamalek remain in second place with 32 points, seven points behind Al Ahly, while Wadi Degla climb into 11th place with 22 points.