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Egyptian Premier League: Tired Al Ahly labor to draw, Pyramids continue slide with defeat

Following the two matches played in the Egyptian Premier League on Wednesday, it was a team that did not take part who came out happiest as league leaders Zamalek remain three points ahead of rivals Al Ahly. Ahly failed to find the net in a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Tala’ea El Gaish, looking fatigued after confirming their spot in the CAF Champions League over the weekend. The African champions remain three points behind with two games still to make up on Zamalek.

El Gaish did not have much of the ball but the visitors kept Ahly honest in an even first half. Percy Tau had an excellent opportunity for the hosts in the 23rd minute when he intercepted a back pass but after rounding El Gaish goalkeeper Mohamed Bassam, the South Africa national team forward could only put his finish into the side netting. Ahly keeper Mohamed El Shenawy had to be quick off his line to save just before the half hour mark when Mohamed Gaber had an open look from a sharp angle.

Bassam was more active in the second half as Ahly dominated after the halftime break, coming up with excellent reaction saves in the 63rd and 72nd minutes to keep the hosts off the scoreboard. El Gaish had an excellent opportunity to earn a shocking road victory in the 86th minute when Gabonese substitute Franck Engonga got behind the Ahly defense and rounded El Shenawy but like Tau earlier, put his shot into the side netting.

In the other match, Pyramids FC are suffering a loss of form at a crucial time as they transition to a new manager. Takis Gonias oversaw a defeat in the beginning of his second spell as manager with the Cairo side dropping a 1-0 result to Ceramica Cleopatra at home. Pyramids remain in 3rd place but are slipping further and further out of the title race with pressure building to recover their early season form.

The visitors scored the match’s lone goal in the 28th minute when Pyramids center back Ali Gabr failed to shepherd an attempted through ball for goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy to pick up. Mostafa Saad won the ball in the penalty area and picked out Mohamed Ibrahim at the far post for an open header to beat the scrambling Ekramy. Pyramids dominated for large stretches but a heavily rotated lineup failed to make the breakthrough.

Highlights from both games are below.

Al Ahly 0-0 El Gaish

Pyramids FC 0-1 Ceramica Cleopatra

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