Zamalek scored two late goals, thanks to some dreadful defensive blunders, to kick off the defence of their Egyptian Premier League crown with a 2-0 victory over Smouha in Cairo on Wednesday.
The White Knights found it hard to carve out openings in a disappointing first half and were only revitalized when veteran schemer Mahmoud Shikabala and young forward Youssef Nabih were introduced in the second half.
Shikabala helped end the resistance of Smouha with 11 minutes remaining when his low, angled shot was turned into his own net by defender Sherif Reda.
Zamalek’s Beninese striker Samson Akinyoola, who came on as a late substitute, marked his debut with a fine goal after robbing defender Ahmed Shousha in the area with the last kick of the game.
The Cairo giants, who are seeking to win the league title for a third straight season for the first time in their history, moved level on three points with Ahly, Ceramica Cleopatra and Ittihad, who all grabbed opening wins as the new season got underway.
Watch the goals here