Zamalek drop more points with goalless draw against Ismaily
Zamalek dropped two more points after playing out a goalless draw with Ismaily in the 27th round of the Egyptian Premier League on Wednesday.
Zamalek XI: El-Shennawy; Hosni, El-Wensh, Gabr, Nassef; Hamed, Ma’rouf, Fathi, Shikabala, Refaat; Bassem
Ismaily XI: Awad; Aboul-Magd, Hashim, Richard, Adel Gomaa; Metwally, Emad Hamdy, Hosni; Hassan, Diego, Nagiub
This marked the second draw in a row for Zamalek, who were held to a goalless draw by Tanta last week. Following their draw with Ismaily, the White Knights remained third in the league standings with 48 points, four clear of Smouha and Al Masry, who both have a game in hand. Meanwhile, Ismaily moved up to seventh place on 37 points.
The two sides were very much tactically prepared for this game. This was obvious in their defensive discipline and lack of creativity in each other’s final third of the pitch.
The only thing worth mentioning in the opening 10 minutes of the game was a chance for Mostafa Fathi after five minutes that was easily saved by Mohamed Awad.
Ismaily were forced to make two early substitutions due to injuries with Nader Ramadan and Karim Bambo coming on to replace Mohamed Hashem and Hosni Abd-Rabou. These changes brought a bit of pace to a slow and ineffective Ismaily side that later on had a couple of off-target chances.
Zamalek found their attacking rhythm in the early stages of the second half, which eventually led to a very decent chance for Fathi after a couple of smart dribbles, but his effort was saved by Awad.
Approaching the one-hour mark, a motivated Zamalek team was yet again trying to get the opening goal of the night as a decent cross from Ahmed Refaat landed exactly on Bassem Morsi’s head but the striker was unable to hit the ball on target.
Ten minutes later, Ismaily coach Nasreddine Nabi made his third and final substitution, bringing on Ahmed Gamal instead of Shukry Naguib to maintain his counter-attacking strategy with only 20 minutes to go.
Fifteen minutes from time, injured Maarouf Youssef was subbed off for Ibrahim Salah before Ahmed Gaafar came on to replace Refaat.
Ismaily looked sharp defensively in the closing five minutes of the game and Zamalek were unable to penetrate their defensive block as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
Zamalek will face Arab Contractors in an away game in the next round of the Egyptian Premier League, while Tanta will host Ismaily on Sunday.
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