An excellent Cairo Derby on Sunday saw two Mohamed Sherif goals lead Al Ahly to an important 2-1 Egyptian Premier League victory over Zamalek. Zamalek remain in top spot on the league table but with three more games played this season and only three points separating them from their rivals, their grasp is tenuous at best.
The match had all of the components of a good derby match with thrilling moments and stretches of open play to keep it entertaining. Ahly got off to the better start, missing closely from an opportunity in the opening two minutes before scoring the opener in the 21st. Ayman Ashraf gave Sherif room to shoot on the right side of the Zamalek penalty area with a through ball and the midfielder ripped a shot past Mahmoud Abdul-Rahim to beat him near post.
Zamalek responded well to generate more chances and utilized an outstanding individual play from veteran attacker Shikabala to equalize ten minutes later. Finding the ball at his favorite location on the right side of the Zamalek penalty area, the 35-year-old found just enough room to curl a beautiful effort off his left foot into the top corner of the Ahly goal. To complete an excellent first-half, Sherif provided a worthy response of his own just a few minutes later when he collected the ball outside the Zamalek area and belted a thunderous effort past Abdul-Rahim to make it 2-1 Ahly by halftime.
Ahly failed to build on their lead after the break but poor finishing from Zamalek, in particular a missed penalty-kick, helped The Red Devils earn three points. Missing starting goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy due to a positive Covid-19 test, veteran backup Ali Lotfi was called upon and his moment in the spotlight came in the 59th minute. Lotfi made a clumsy challenge in his penalty area to give Zamalek a penalty-kick, but the former ENPPI keeper saved Mahmoud Alaa’s tame attempt to emerge as the hero in El Shenawy’s absence.
Highlights of the goals are below.