Group A matches have finally come to closure and it has seen...
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VIDEO: Morsy’s strike helps Zamalek beat Ittihad, reach Egypt Cup semis
Zamalek XI: El-Shennawy; Hamada Tolba, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Dweidar, Hazem Emam; Ahmed Tawfik, Moruf Yusuf, Ibrahim Abdel-Khalek; Shikabala, Mostafa Fathi, Bassem Morsy.
Ittihad XI: El-Hany Soliman; Amr Nabil, Mohamed Abdel-Razek, Mahmoud Shaaban, Hesham Shehata; Ahmed Nassr, Ashour El-Adham, Mohamed Adel, Mahmoud Farag, Mohamed Abdel-Maguid; Youssef Ibrahim “Obama”.
Ittihad of Alexandria manager Mokhtar Mokhtar had to make an early substitution after Mohamed Abdel-Maguid picked up an injury. He made way for Hermann Kouao seven minutes after kick-off.
Two minutes later, Mostafa Fathi missed a dangerous chance to give Zamalek an early lead after a poor defensive clearance. Fathi went one-on-one with the goalkeeper but his weak shot was saved by El-Hany Soliman.
Twelve minutes into the game, Ittihad had already made their second substitution as Ahmed Al-Alfy came on to replace injured Ahmed Nassr.
Twenty minutes into the game, Mostafa Fathi missed another opportunity to open the scoring, after great effort from Shikabala from the left side, as he beat two Ittihad defenders and passed the ball to Fathi, who missed in front of an empty net.
In the 27th minute, the substitute Kouao received a long ball from Mahmoud Farag “Kabonga” inside Zamalek’s box but he couldn’t deal with the ball as it easily reached El-Shennaway’s hands.
Fifteen minutes to the break, Ittihad took the lead through Zamalek loanee Youssef Ibrahim “Obama” who tapped Ahmed El-Alfy’s low cross into El-Shennaway’s empty net.
Zamalek pushed for an equaliser in the remaining minutes of the first half, as Morsy headed the ball from a corner from the right side but Soliman saved it and cleared the danger.
Title holders Zamalek controlled the rest of the first half, but they couldn’t break through Ittihad’s defense as the score stood at 1-0 for Ittihad at half time.
Zamalek coach Mohamed Helmy made his first substitution as he brought on Ayman Hefny to replace Ibrahim Abdel-Khalik. Hefny’s first impact came two minutes into the second half, but his shot went over the bar.
Ali Fathi headed a cross from Hefny over Soliman but Bassem Morsy missed a huge chance for an equaliser as his header failed to find the empty net and went inches beside the left post in the 51st minute.
Searching for the equaliser, Mohamed Helmy brought on Mohamed Salem to replace Mostafa Fathi seven minutes later.
Eighteen minutes into the second half, Shikabala levelled the score as his free-kick near the edge of the penalty area found the top right corner of Soliman’s net.
Zamalek’s possession and control proved fruitful as they took the lead in the 75th minute. A cross from Shikabala inside the penalty area found the unmarked Morsy who scored with a half-volley
Both teams failed to add more goals as the referee blew his final whistle to end the game with a 2-1 win for Zamalek.
The victory sees the White Castle reach Egypt Cup semi-final, where they will face Ismaily, who defeated Al Masry 2-0, on August 3.