Al-Zamalek won their second consecutive and in total 23rd Egypt Cup after beating Alexandrian side Smouha 1-0 on Saturday.
Smouha and Al-Zamalek met each other over two weeks ago in the final stage of the Premier League, when Smouha won 2-1. As Al-Ahly took hold of the league title, both teams were looking for rehabilitation in the cup final.
The game was close, with both sides unable to dominate or create big scoring chances. The decisive moment came in the 70th minute, when Smouha player Tarek Hamed received his second yellow card – leading to a red – after a duel that could have been interpreted as a foul by the Al-Zamalek side as well.
With 10 players, the Smouha defence looked increasingly vulnerable and the White Knights tried to force a lead. Just when the game seemed destined for a penalty shoot-out, Youssef Ibrahim broke through on the left wing.
His chip was saved by Smouha goalkeeper Amir Abdel-Hamid, but in the rebound Hazem Emam scored the much sought-after goal, causing an eruption of joy on the Al-Zamalek bench.
The Egypt Cup is the first title for Al-Zamalek coach Ahmed “Mido” Hossam, whose position has been under pressure due to poor performance in the Egyptian Premier League and CAF Champions League.
After losing the league title on final match day to Al-Ahly, losing the cup final put Smouha in even deeper grief. However, the Blues can be proud of their outstanding performance this season that surprised all sides, and they can brace themselves for their first participation in the Champions League next season.