VIDEO: Tempers flair as Al Ahly defeat Zamalek in Abu Dhabi to win Super Cup
Two penalties from Abdallah El-Said led Al Ahly to a 3-2 victory over rivals Zamalek in the 2015 Egyptian Super Cup, held in Abu Dhabi.
Al Ahly XI: Sherif Ekramy; Ahmed Fathi, Rami Rabia, Ahmed Hegazy, Sabry Rahil; Hossam Ghaly, Hossam Ashour; Walid Soliman, Ramadan Sobhy, Abdallah El-Said; Malick Evouna.
Zamalek XI: Ahmed El-Shennawy; Hamada Tolba, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Dweidar, Ahmed Tawfik; Tarek Hamed, Moruf Yusuf, Omar Gaber; Mohamed Ibrahim, Kahraba; Bassem Morsi.
The game got off to a roaring start, with Zamalek’s Mohamed Ibrahim sending a shot just wide of the goal after only 30 seconds. A couple of minutes later, Al Ahly had their first chance, but El-Shennawy dealt with Walid Soliman’s cross well.
Jesualdo Ferreira‘s gameplan for his Zamalek team was to pressure Ahly’s newest centre-back pairing of Rami Rabia and Ahmed Hegazy, and the pressure almost paid off due to the speed and quick feet of Kahraba. He created several chances in the first ten minutes, but the Ahly defenders were able to do just enough to keep the score deadlocked.
Malick Evouna should have made it 1-0 in 20 minutes, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area landed softly in El-Shennawy’s arms. Ferreira made the first change of the game one minute later when Ali Gabr was taken off due to an ankle injury, and he was replaced by Mohammed Koffi.
Following ten minutes of Al Ahly pressure, Omar Gaber made a superb run from half field to outrun every Al Ahly player and get inside the box and fire a shot off, only to be thwarted by Sherif Ekramy.
One minute later, Gaber made amends following a Bassem Morsi pass that somehow bounced through Ahmed Fathi’s legs and found Gaber open on the edge of the box. His superb shot across goal landed in the bottom left corner of the net to give the White Knights a 1-0 lead after 25 minutes.
Five minutes later, Al Ahly almost brought it even, but a superb reflex save from El-Shennawy stopped a rocket from Evouna. On 32 minutes, Ahmed Fathi brought down the ever-dangerous Kahraba in the box for a penalty. Kahraba stepped up to take it himself, but his weak shot was easily saved by Ekramy, and Al Ahly avoided going down 2-0 in the first half.
In the third and final minute of stoppage time, referee Carlos Carballo called a penalty for Al Ahly when he adjudged Hamada Tolba to have fouled Ramadan Sobhy in the box. Abdallah El-Said stepped up and sent Ahmed El-Shennawy the wrong way to bring the Red Devils level at the stroke of half time.
Five minutes into the second half, Al Ahly were awarded a second penalty. Hossam Ghaly’s superb long ball found a streaking Walid Soliman, who was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Mohammed Koffi. Abdallah El-Said again sent El-Shennawy the wrong way to give Al Ahly a 2-1 lead early in the second half.
Both sides made changes at 60 minutes, with interim Al Ahly manager Abdel-Aziz Abdel Shafy ‘Zizo’ sending Mo’men Zakaria on to replace Walid Soliman, and Zamalek manager Jesulado Ferriera sending Aymen Hefny on to spell Moruf Yusuf.
Five minutes later, Zamalek made their final change, as Mostafa Fathi replaced Mohamed Ibrahim, who had a very quiet game.
Al Ahly’s changes paid dividends immediately. El-Shennawy deflected a Ramadan Sobhy cross, but the ball found an unmarked Mo’men Zakaria, who scored ten minutes after his introduction and the Reds suddenly led 3-1 with 20 minutes remaining.
In the 80th minute, it seemed as if the game was on the verge of being abandoned. Ramadan Sobhy, bringing back memories of Al Ahly’s 2-0 win in the league, stood on the ball while in play. Omar Gaber took exception to this, and he kicked out at Sobhy right in front of the referee.
A huge scuffle broke out, with players from both benches intervening. Hazem Emam, the focal point of the first Ramadan showboating incident came on the pitch and appeared to strike an Ahly player. The referee and his assistants abandoned the pitch at the onset of the scuffle, leaving the players to settle it on their own.
After five minutes, Hossam Ashour and Omar Gaber returned from the tunnel with the referees and the game continued. Ramadan Sobhy was immediately withdrawn by Zizo and replaced with John Antwi.
In the first minute of a lengthy stoppage time, Omar Gaber sent Mahmoud Kahraba through on goal with a delightful flick, and Kahraba made no mistake by chipping Sherif Ekramy to make the score 3-2.
In an effort to tighten his defense, Zizo made his final change in the third minute of stoppage time, as Evouna was replaced by centre back Mohamed Naguib. The change worked, as the further ten minutes of stoppage time concluded without incident. The Red Devils ran out as 3-2 victors in an ill-tempered Egyptian Super Cup.
Watch the goals:
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