Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron’s decision to rest some key players backfired badly as the team slumped to a surprise 2-0 loss to an in-form Smouha side in the Egyptian Premier League on Tuesday.
After a drab first half in which the only highlight was a Zamalek goal that was disallowed for offside following a lengthy VAR review, Smouha exposed their illustrious opponents’ defensive frailties to claim all three points.
Zamalek spurned a couple of goal-scoring chances and were punished when Sodiq Awujoola put Smouha ahead with a powerful shot on 65 minutes.
As the White Knights poured forward in search of an equaliser, Smouha were awarded a penalty after a swift breakaway, which Moroccan winger Abdelkabir El Ouadi tucked away to kill off Zamalek’s hopes.
Joint leaders Zamalek, who suffered their second league defeat in nine matches this season, missed out on the chance of moving clear on top as they remain level on 19 points with perennial Cairo rivals Ahly, who have two games in hand.
Smouha, who secured their first win over Zamalek in five years, moved up to third with 18 points.