Zamalek beat stubborn Contractors to ensure league supremacy

السبت، 21 مايو 2011 - 22:38

كتب : وكالات

Zamalek had a slender advantage canceled out twice before one of Shikabala's trademark free kicks sealed a 3-2 league victory over Arab Contractors and gave the Whites a three-point lead in the title race.

The Cairo giants, who have been topping the Egyptian Premier League table for quite some time, first took the lead with a Mohamed Abdul-Shafi strike on the stroke of halftime.

Six minutes from the hour mark, Contractors' Mohamed Al-Nenni hit an equalizer in spite of Zamalek's relative dominance.

Substitute Mohamed Amine Aoudia came off the bench to regain the visitors' one-goal lead on 71 minutes but Al-Nenni once again brought the score level four minutes later.

The evergreen Shikabala killed off the match two minutes from time.

Contractors played for ten minutes with a man down after defender Saad Samir was dismissed.

Leaders Zamalek are now three points clear of their arch rivals Ahli, who lie second on 43 points.

Fast pace

The match started off at a fast pace, with both teams looking to net an early opener.

Zamalek defender Mahmoud Fathallah came close to breaking the deadlock as early as the third minute following a goalmouth scramble.

Contractors' Mohamed Salah replied with a cross-cum-shot that Abdul-Wahed Al-Sayed palmed at full stretch.

Zaki, who's yet to hit peak form after returning from injury, attempted to head home a Shikabala curling cross only to miss out on the ball five minutes from the half-hour mark.

Mohamed Samara could have put Contractors ahead on 32 minutes with a powerful free kick that was blocked by Al-Sayed.

Abdul-Shafi opened the scoring with a fierce volley after being set up by a Fathallah header.

Gaafar wastes golden chance

Zamalek kept the upper hand after the break while the Mountain Wolves remained determined to pull off a good result.

Zamalek's Ahmed Gaafar, who later made way for Aoudia, staggeringly squandered a golden chance, probably the most agonizing miss in this season.

He connected with a Shikabala cross with the goal at his mercy but failed to slot the ball into an empty net from point-blank range as his effort went high over.

Zamalek lamented the wasted chance even more when an Al-Nenni thunderbolt went past Al-Sayed and into the net to level the score.

Hassan Mostafa spurned another clear-cut opportunity when he came unmark to connect with a chipped pass from Zaki inside the area, only to see his drive go wide.

Aoudia headed home a Shikabala free kick but shortly afterwards Al-Nenni converted a penalty kick that Musa Kabiru earned after Amr Al-Safti brought him down.

Contractors' Samir was sent off on 82 minutes for two bookable offences, before Shikabala hit the late sensational winner with a precise free kick.

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