Youngsters lift Zamalek over ENPPI

Omar AbdelAziz
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Zamalek were inspired by young duo Alaa Ali and Hossam Arafat as they eased 2-0 past ENPPI in the Egyptian Premier League on Monday.

Ali and Arafat, two rare starters for Hossam Hassan s team, scored in either side of the interval to give their manager a fourth victory in a row.

Zamalek, who registered their 12th straight victory over the petroleum side, climb to fifth place with 24 points.

ENPPI slip to eighth place on 21 points.

Shikabala had the first sight of goal when he hit a powerful shot from 18 yards that went wide of Ali Lotfi s right post.

But the deadlock was broken with a far better strike from Ali, who fired an unstoppable long-range effort for the opener in the 21st minute.

The 37th minute witnessed a crucial point in the game when Zamalek keeper Abdul-Wahed Al-Sayed conceded a silly penalty, bringing down Ahmed Raouf.

Al-Sayed failed to deal with an ENPPI corner before being robbed by Raouf, who earned an easy penalty from his Egypt mate.

However, the Zamalek captain made amends by saving the poor spot kick from another Egypt colleague Ahmed Al-Muhammadi.

Al-Muhammadi had another chance to level the scoring nine minutes after the interval, but the Sunderland-target made a mess of his point-blank effort, missing in front of an empty net.

Shikabala, who scored a superb freekick against ENPPI in the season opener, saw his effort denied by promising keeper Lotfi.

But in the 64th minute, Lotfi was beaten by his former Egypt U-20 teammate Arafat, who scored his maiden goal for the White Knights.

The competent ENPPI guardian produced a world-class save to deny Ahmed Gaafar s close-range header, only for Arafat to slot home on the rebound.

ENPPI produced no real threat on Al-Sayed s goal to ensure they won t get their first-ever win over Zamalek this season.

In addition to the goalscorers Ali and Arafat, Zamalek boss Hossam Hassan introduced 18-year-old midfielder Mohamed Ibrahim for the first time.

The penalty

ENPPI assistant coach Diaa Al-Sayed admitted that Al-Muhammadi s missed penalty was a turning point in Monday s defeat.

Al-Muhammadi missed a golden chance to level things for his side before half time, converting a poor penalty into the hands of Zamalek keeper Abdul-Wahed Al-Sayed.

It was a turning point in the game, definitely, Al-Sayed, ENPPI s second man after Stojko Mladenov, told Modern Sport TV.

It is totally different when you go to half time on a draw than when you are losing.

Even after the break we missed more easy chances and they finished the game off with the second goal. From this point, it is very difficult to come back against a team like Zamalek.

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