Zamalek fall against Al Ahly in Cairo derby
Zamalek have fallen short to a 3-0 defeat against arch-rivals Al Ahly in the 115th Cairo derby in Ehab Galal’s debut as the Whites manager.
The Red Devils started the game brilliantly as they were able to snatch the opening goal of night from former Zamalek player, Momen Zakaria, after Walid Soliman pounced on a defensive mistake from the White Knights and made a smart solo effort to set it up to Zakaria who tapped the ball into the net.
Al Ahly were lined up by El-Badry in their usual 4-2-3-1 which seemed very solid in blocking the White Knights’ build up play in its early stages. Meanwhile Ihab Galal started in an inverted 4-3-3 with two holding midfielders in Mahmoud Dunga and Tarek Hamed who seemed lost in the middle of the park without any help from Ayman Hefny.
Follwing the goal the Red Devils recognized that playing on the counter will be more beneficial for the whole scenario of the game, so E-Badry decided to leave ball possession to their opponent in hopes of securing the 3 points.
At the half-hour mark Zamalek were given a golden opportunity to equalize the score after Momen Zakaria slipped and tripped Zamalek right back Hazem Emam inside the 18-yard box, but the Whites threw their chance away as Mohamed El-Shennawy made a game-changing save to Bassem Morsy’s shot to maintain Al Ahly’s lead.
10 minutes later, El-Shennawy fouled Ali Maaloul in the penalty area to give Al-Ahly a chance to double their lead just five minutes before the half time whistle, Abdallah El-Said didn’t hesitate to slot the goal into the back of the net to secure a two-goal lead before the second half.
Ehab Galal, the newly appointed Zamalek manager, decided to replace Madbouly with Mohamed Ibrahim at half-time in an attempt to refresh the left flank.
10 minutes after the start of the second half, Al-Ahly were able to kill the match completely as Walid Azarou was able to break loose from the White Knights defense after an incredible through ball from Walid Soliman that left the Moroccan on a 1-on-1 vs El Shenawy who slipped out of his position to leave the striker an empty net to easily triple the Red Devils lead.
The game then took its predictable path with Al Ahly having full dominance over all the game’s aspects while El-Zamalek seemed lifeless making no real threat throughout most of the second half.
80 minutes into the game and El-Zamalek’s chances to even score kept getting slimmer as Mohamed Ibrahim got himself his second booking of the match and got sent off after an aggressive tackle to force the White Knights to play with 10 men till the end of the game.
El-Zamalek will host Entag El Harby in the next round in the Premier League on Sunday 14, January 2017. Meanwhile, Al Ahly will roll their sleeves to face Al Masry in Egypt Super Cup.