Cairo Derby ends in a DRAW

Defending champions Ahli are now four points clear on top of the league table, while beleaguered Zamalek are 13th with 12 points, one above the relegation zone.

Ahli had to do without striker Emad Meteb, playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika and midfielder Moataz Eno, who were all out with respective injuries.

Consequently, head coach Hossam Al-Badri had to send benchwarmer Ahmed Belal into battle ten minutes from the hour mark to replace Mohamed Fadl, who was notably out of form.

Belal, who used to be one of the Red Devils stars, was kept on the sidelines for quite a while.

On the other hand, Zamalek had influential hitman Amr Zaki out of the game with a hamstring problem.

The previous Cairo derby also ended in a goalless stalemate in April.

Clear-cut Chances

The first half saw Ahli and Zamalek spurn a clear-cut chance each.

Zamalek striker Mido wasted the first scoring opportunity when he went one-on-one with goalie Ahmed Adel, but his low effort went inches past the post.

Ahli youngster Ahmed Shokri squandered a golden chance either when he tried to head past keeper Abdul-Wahed Al-Sayed, who awkwardly advanced to collide with a Zamalek defender.

Zamalek’s Ghanaian midfielder Rahim Ayew was sent in midway through the first period to replace defender Ahmed Al-Safti, who seemed to be suffering from a back problem.

Later on, Ahli’s Ahmed Ali made way for Mohamed Talaat 10 minutes from halftime.

Zamalek relatively controlled the game in the dying minutes. Mido was again close to breaking the deadlock but his close-range header went high over.

Mido

After the break, both teams remained cautious for a short while.

Talaat could have opened the scoring on 51 minutes but keeper Al-Sayed blocked his effort.

Belal had a chance from inside the area, but instead of scoring with a clinical finish he flicked the ball towards Hassan who couldn’t gather it.

Zamalek custodian Al-Sayed had his ankle twisted, and was spotted while limping for the rest of the game.

On 70 minutes, Hassan tried unmarked to dribble goalie Al-Sayed in front of the box, but the latter managed to deny the Egypt skipper.

Mido came close to scoring once again after he connected with a Rémi Adiko low cross several yards away from the target, to see his drive drift wide of the mark.

Belal could have volleyed home from point-blank range eight minutes from time, but his shot was easily blocked.

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