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Egyptian Premier League: Ahly narrowly avoid embarrassing defeat; Zamalek and Pyramids edge out victories

A thrilling weekend in the Egyptian Premier League saw multiple games decided in the final minutes and Egypt’s top clubs were among those who needed late goals. Al Ahly were fortunate to escape with a draw while league leaders Zamalek as well as Pyramids FC needed second half rallies to obtain three points. Following the weekend it is Zamalek who continue to set the pace at the top with a lead that is only increasing as rivals Ahly keep on struggling.

On Saturday the concerns for Al Ahly supporters continued to grow after the African champions stumbled to a 1-1 draw at Ceramica Cleopatra. In the 87th minute, Ahly winger Luis Miquissone turned the ball over and Mohamed Ibrahim had plenty of space to make a lengthy run with the ball down the right flank. Ibrahim curled a well placed cross to the far post where former Zamalek star Basem Morsi hit his first time finish by Ahly keeper Mohamed El Shenawy.

Ahly desperately pushed for a leveler in stoppage time and a stroke of good fortune gave them the opening they needed. A long ball was poorly dealt with by the Ceramic Cleopatra defense and after a scramble in the penalty area, Hussein El Shahat’s cross found a streaking Karim Fouad who attempted a diving header that was saved by goalkeeper Mohamed Amer. However, after a long Video Assistant Referee review, it was determined that Fouad took a kick to the face and a penalty kick was awarded which Mohamed Magdy “Afsha” converted for the teams to split the points.

Zamalek took advantage of the continued poor form of their rivals, boosting their lead to eight points with a 2-1 victory at last placed Eastern Company on Sunday. The league leaders opened the scoring in the 40th minute when Achraf Bencharki collected the ball on the left wing and provided a low cross to find Omar El Said, who finished well with the left foot for his 5th goal of the season.

Eastern Company struck back in the second half when Mohamed Trabelsi’s long ball found Ahmed Meteb on the left wing, who was able to put his cross into a dangerous area that resulted in Zamalek center back Mahmoud Hamdi “El-Wensh” redirecting the ball into his own net. In the end though it was Zamalek who got the result they wanted in the first minute of second half stoppage time when the hosts failed to deal with a long ball, allowing substitute Seifeddine Jaziri to find Zizo for the playmaker to fire home his league leading 11th goal of the season.

Finally, Pyramids edged out El Gouna on the road for their first win under Takis Gonias. Ramadan Sobhi has struggled to capture his best form this season but collected an 18th minute set up from Fagrie Lakay and fired in to put the visitors in the lead. Gouna equalized nine minutes later after Khaled Kamar’s penalty kick was saved and the forward headed in the rebound past Sherif Ekramy, but Pyramids found their winner in the 70th minute after Walid El Karti’s initial header from a corner kick was saved before Osama Galal put away the rebound.

Highlights from all three games are below.

Ceramica Cleopatra 1-1 Al Ahly

Eastern Company 1-2 Zamalek

El Gouna 1-2 Pyramids FC

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