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Cairo Derby Ends in Goalless Stalemate

Al Ahly and Zamalek played to a predictable goalless draw in their Egypt Premier League Cairo derby at Borg El-Arab Stadium on Saturday.

Al Ahly and Zamalek played to a predictable goalless draw in their Egypt Premier League Cairo derby at Borg El-Arab Stadium on Saturday.

Al Ahly enjoyed the majority of possession through the first half, but Zamalek’s defence held them at arm’s length quite comfortably under the wet conditions.

The heavy downpour that started in the early stages of the match made the pitch slippery and as a result, few players could get proper control of the wet ball.

The players’ first touch on both sides let them down badly. Far too many passes and tackles went astray. But it was Al Ahly who resorted, in the beginning, to going for long-range shots.

The White Knights started to get their act together and called Ahmed El Shenawy into notable action twice, both long-range efforts from Youssef Ibrahim and Ferjani Sassi which were well saved by the Ahly goalkeeper.

Abdallah Gomaa also had an opening late in the half after a clever back-heel from the effusive Ghany, but the veteran midfield fired straight into the side netting from a tight angle.

Al Ahly’ best chance came from a set piece in the 29th minute, as Ramadan Sobhi picked out defender Saad Samir, whose headed effort rebounded off Mahmoud Genesh’s left-hand post.

Then five minutes later Zamalek midfielder Zizo forced Al Ahly keeper El Shenawy to fist away his dangerous shot four minutes from the break.

Sassi sent in a delightful cross that beat the Ahly defense and Shenawy three minutes after the interval, which needed a simple tap-in, but none of his teammates read the cross and the ball slipped to safety.

The Red Devils had a chance to go ahead in the 55th minute when Nasser Maher picked out the run of Ashour with a great ball over the defense and the attacking midfielder rattled the crossbar with an acrobatic volley.

That chance brought about a new energy to the game, which both teams suddenly prepared to commit more men forward in attack. Zamalek brought on Hamid Ahaddad to boost their forward line, while Al Ahly also made some changes.

The next big chance arrived in the 71st minute when Zamalek’s Tarek Hamed swung in a free-kick to find the head of Mahmoud Kahraba, but the midfielder’s effort was kept out by a great one-handed save by Shanawy.

Shortly thereafter Al Ahly had an open chance to get the back of the net but Amr El Solya effort went over the crossbar with the goalkeeper well beaten.

That proved to be the last real highlight in the second half, as both teams saw out the remainder of the game to share the points.

The teams:

Zamalek: Mahmoud Genesh (GK ),Hazem Imam (C), Mohamed Abdel Ghany, Mahmoud El Wensh, Abdullah Gomaa, Tarek Hamed , Ferjani Sassi, Youssef Obama, Zizo, Mahmoud Kahraba , Khaled Bou Tayeb.

Al Ahly: Ahmed El Shenawy  (GK), Mohamed Hany, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf, Ali Maloal, Hossam Ashour (C), Amr El Solya, Nasser Maher, Ramadan Sobhi, Ajayi Jr, Marwan Mohsen.

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