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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Zamalek advance past second tier El Daklyeh in Egypt Cup

Zamalek escaped an upset on Monday in the Egypt Cup against a dangerous opponent as the 2020-21 Egyptian Premier League champions came back from a goal down to defeat second-tier side El Daklyeh 2-1 after extra time. Achraf Bencharki provided the winning goal late in the first half of extra time and confirmed Zamalek’s advancement to the Round of 16 after the Daklyeh took an early lead.

Daklyeh proved to be a tricky opponent due to their excellent form in Egypt’s second tier where they are currently thirteen points clear at the top of Group B and on track to be promoted to the Premier League, and a bright start put Zamalek behind. Just after the three minute mark an excellent ball from the midfield sent Samir Fekri in behind the defense before the winger easily made his way around Zamalek goalkeeper Mohamed Awad and tucked his finish into the empty net. Zamalek struggled in the first half and the lead was well deserved for Daklyeh.

The hosts got back into the match following halftime. After Sayed Mohamed’s long range effort was well kept out early in the second half the leveler arrived in the 59th minute when midfielder Seif Farouk Gaafar’s long range effort skipped past the goalkeeper for his first professional goal since graduating to the first-team squad this season. Zamalek continued to push with veteran playmaker Shikabala leading the way but could not find a winner in normal time.

Zamalek continued to dominate in extra time and the decisive moment arrived right at the end of the first half of the extra period. Moroccan forward Bencharki took down Mohamed Abdel Shafy’s lofted ball with a brilliant first touch that took him around a Daklyeh defender and proceeded to finish past the goalkeeper.

Highlights are below.