Experienced forward Mahmoud “Shikabala” Abdel-Razek played a pivotal role by scoring a late game-winner, propelling Zamalek to their inaugural league triumph of the season. This achievement came after a remarkable 2-1 comeback victory over NBE Club at Cairo International Stadium on Saturday.
NBE Club seized the advantage with a goal five minutes into stoppage time, as Karim Bambo successfully converted a short free kick delivered by Ahmed Madbouly into Zamalek’s net. However, Zamalek’s standout winger, Ahmed “Zizo” Sayed, responded with a remarkable long-range strike, leveling the score just nine minutes into the second half. The decisive moment came in the 90th minute of the game, with Shikabala delivering the winning goal for his team.
Both teams concluded the match with just 10 players on the field, as Zamalek’s goalkeeper, Mohamed Awaad, and NBE Club’s Mohamed Fathy were both shown red cards.
This win marks Zamalek’s first victory this season after three games, propelling them to fifth place with 5 points, trailing the leaders, Modern Future, who maintain a flawless record with 9 points. Meanwhile, NBE Club remains rooted to the bottom of the table, yet to earn any points.
Zamalek aimed to establish control from the outset but grappled with finding the back of the net. In contrast, NBE Club relied on their robust defense and potent counterattacks.
Zamalek’s initial scoring opportunity emerged in the 7th minute as Zizo unleashed a shot following a cross from Mostafa Shalby, narrowly missing the target. Omar Gaber also saw his attempt thwarted by a brilliant save from the international goalkeeper, Mohamed Abou Gabal.
However, Zamalek suffered a significant setback when goalkeeper Awaad, who had delivered an impressive performance in the first half, was shown a red card in the opening minute of stoppage time for obstructing NBE Club’s forward, Karim Bambo, who was in a clear scoring position.
With second-choice goalkeeper Mohamed Sobhi subbed in for striker Seifeddine Jaziri, Bambo managed to slot home a close-range shot after a well-executed free kick.
Zamalek’s coach, Juan Osorio, implemented crucial defensive changes by bringing in Mostafa El Zenary and Hamza Mathlouthi, who effectively fortified their defense and put a stop to NBE Club’s rapid counterattacks.
Despite being a player down, the White Knights seized command of the game and consistently applied pressure on their opponents.
In the 54th minute, Zenary provided the setup for Zizo just at the edge of the area, and Zizo’s first-time shot found the top corner of the net.
Zamalek sustained their offensive pressure, and in the 90th minute, Shikabala, who had entered the match as a substitute in the 67th minute, sealed the victory with an unstoppable left-footed strike from outside the penalty area.