Zamalek Overcomes Crisis, Clinches 2022 Egypt Cup Final Spot with Nail-Biting 4-3 Penalty Shootout Triumph over Pyramids FC After a Riveting 3-3 Draw in Extra Time.
The White Knights faced a challenging week marked by two domestic league losses, resulting in the dismissal of coach Juan Carlos Osorio. Interim coach Moatamed Gamal took charge amidst the turmoil, making his debut against formidable opponents Pyramids FC in the Egypt Cup semifinals.
Despite Pyramids FC being widely regarded as favorites, they claimed an early lead with a goal from Congolese striker Fiston Mayele in the 5th minute. While Pyramids FC had numerous chances to extend their advantage, they failed to capitalize. Zamalek, on the other hand, squandered multiple opportunities to level the score.
Pyramids FC’s prospects took a hit when substitute midfielder Ahmed Tawfiq, who entered the game in the 60th minute, received two yellow cards within 18 minutes, reducing his team to ten players.
Seizing the moment, Zamalek’s midfielder Nabil Emad leveled the score in stoppage time, pushing the game into extra time. Within the first period of extra play, Mostafa Fathi swiftly regained the lead for Pyramids FC just two minutes in. However, out-of-favor striker Samson Akinyoola leveled the score eight minutes later.
This marked a significant moment for Akinyoola, securing his first goal for Zamalek in over a year, with his previous and only goal dating back to last season’s opening game against Smouha. Mohamed Hamdi then propelled Pyramids FC ahead once again in the 108th minute, only for Zamalek’s Nasser Mansi to respond quickly, equalizing at 3-3 just four minutes later.
Zamalek’s goalkeeper, Mohamed Awad, emerged as the night’s hero, saving two crucial shots from Ahmed Sami and Mostafa Fathi during the penalty shootout, ultimately propelling his team to the final. In the championship clash, Zamalek will face Ahly, with the date yet to be determined.