CAIRO: Zamalek s new signing Mahmoud Abdul-Razeq “Shikabala scored on his debut to help his side claim an easy 2-0 away victory over Tanta in the Egyptian League Sunday.
Gamal Hamza came off the bench to ensure the win one minute before the final whistle.
The victory left Zamalek in third place in the league with 49 points and one game in hand, just two behind second-placed Ismaili while Tanta lie at the bottom on 17 points.
Due to a host of injuries at the Cairo giants, French boss Henri Michel fielded Shikabala on the right-hand side of the pitch while Mostafa Gaafar played as a lone striker, supported by playmaker Hazem Emam.
Wael Al-Qabani played in an unfamiliar position in the heart of midfield in Michel s favourite 4-4-2 formation while Tamer Abdul-Wahab partnered Tunisian Yamen ben Zekri in defense.
The hosts produced an early scare after two minutes when Al-Sayed Hamdi received a low cross inside the area only to fire a poor shot that took a slight deflection and went straight into Mohamed Abdul-Monsef s hands.
Shikabala, who arrived from Greek side PAOK Saloniki, put Zamalek ahead in the 22nd minute when he latched on to a brilliant defense-splitting pass from Al-Qabani before rounding the keeper and slotting home.
The Cairo giants played comfortably after grabbing the opener as poor Tanta couldn’t break through the visitors defense.
Gaafar should have doubled the lead in the 59th minute after he was picked out by Magdi Atwa s pass inside the area but he strangely played the ball across instead of hitting it straight into the net.
Hamdi was Tanta s only active man, smashing a cracking shot that went just wide from the edge of the area on the stroke of the hour mark.
Zamalek should have been awarded a clear penalty shortly after when Hamza was brought down by Amr Abdou.
Hamza sealed the victory one minute from time after he stepped over Atwa s pass before firing a powerful right-footed shot which left the keeper with no chance.