Kasongo & Hefni help Zamalek claim first league win over Ahly in 11 years
Congolese striker Kabongo Kasongo opened the scoring in the fifth minute, giving Zamalek an early lead, while playmaker Ayman Hefni doubled the seal 15 minutes later.
Ahly’s winger Walid Soliman converted a penalty in the 71st minute to score the consolation goal for his side.
Zamalek made a stunning debut, imposing high pressure on Ahly’s players, which prevented the already crowned league champions from easily building their attacks.
Hefni’s cross from a corner was deflected by Ahly’s midfielder Karim Walid to find Kasongo unmarked at the far post to score his 10th league goal.
Hefni turned from provider to scorer, adding Zamalek’s second goal 15 minutes later after meeting a low cross from Nigerian midfielder Maaruf Yussuf.
Ahly’s players seemed stunned by Zamalek’s surprising debut, as their first threat came in the 30th minute when international striker Marwan Mohsen met Sabri Rahil’s cross, but his header went wide.
The rest of the first half was very calm as Zamalek were satisfied with their double lead, while Ahly’s nervous attacks were easily contained by Zamalek’s defense and keeper Mahmoud Abdel-Rehim.
The second half was a different affair as Ahly intensified their attacks to close the gap.
Coach Hossam El-Badry introduced winger Eslam Mohareb in place of defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour in order to improve his attack.
Mohareb was close to rewarding his coach six minutes after the break, but his header was denied by Zamalek’s keeper.
Ahly’s offensive performance improved as Zamalek’s players opted for defence, allowing their opponent to dominate the game.
Against the run of the game, a defensive lapse from Ahly’s backline allowed Congolese striker Kasongo to be clear, but his lob went over the bar.
A few minutes later, Ahly was awarded a penalty after Kasongo blocked Walid Soliman’s free-kick inside the area.
Soliman successfully converted the penalty, narrowing the gap to 2-1.
Ahly imposed more pressure after the goal to level the score, but Marwan Mohsen’s header was denied by the bar while Zamalek’s keeper blocked two golden-scoring opportunities from Ahly’s substitute Salah Mohsen and striker Marwan Mohsen, giving his side a precious win.
Ahly have already won the domestic league, while Zamalek advanced to the third place with 61 points.