The eagerly-anticipated Cairo derby is set to get underway as Egypt’s top duo clash for the 10th time in the month of Ramadan.
While maintaining a superior overall head-to-head record over their bitter rivals, Ahli also have the upper hand in games played during the holy month, with five wins against three for Zamalek as two thrilling 2-2 draws took place.
The first time Ahli met Zamalek in Ramadan was in 1957, when the Reds were lifted by a brace from goalscoring legend Al-Sayed Al-Dhizui to win 2-0 in the Egyptian league.
2-The 1965 thriller
Eight years later, the Cairo giants played out a four-goal thriller in Ramadan, with Hamada Emam and Omar Al-Nour scoring for Zamalek and Mahmoud Al-Sayes and Refaat Al-Fanageeli on target for Ahli.
Ahli were crowned league champions in 1985 but lost to their arch-rivals 2-1 in the sixth day of Ramadan, thanks to goals from Ghanaian Emmanuel Kwarshi and Tarek Yehia.
In 1992, Ahli edged Zamalek 1-0 in the second of Ramadan and the goalscorer was – curiously – striker Mohamed Ramadan.
Barakat scored a memorable double in Ramadan 2005
Thirty-six years after his father had scored against Ahli during the holy month, Hazem Emam won the derby for Zamalek in 2001 with his team’s two goals in a 2-1 victory.
In 2003, Zamalek won again courtesy of a goal from striker Gamal Hamza.
A high-scoring encounter in 2004 saw Ahli grab a thumping 4-2 victory, with Mohamed Abou-Treika scoring twice for the then-Manuel-Jose side.
In the 2005 Champions League semi-final, Ahli were already on a 2-1 first-leg lead and Mohamed Barakat ensured the victory with a brace to make it 4-1 in an all-Red Ramadan night.
A quality strike from the legendary Treika settled the league clash in 2007.
10-Another continental showdown
Another Champions League encounter in Ramadan took place in 2008 as Flavio’s opener for Ahli was replied to by Gamal Hamza and Junior Agogo, only for Abou-Treika to level things for the Reds.