Zamalek left it late once again but for any objective fan of football, their 3-2 win over El Masry on Monday was a classic for the ages. Five goals and three missed penalties between the two teams set the scene for a dramatic ending where VAR awarded a penalty in second half stoppage time to Zamalek, resulting in an Ahmed Sayed “Zizo” spot kick to seal the victory in the 8th minute of added time.
Emeka Eze opened the scoring against the favorites to get road side Masry off to a dream start, taking the ball down well from a cross and finishing low past Zamalek keeper Mohamed Awad. Home side defender Mohamed Abdel Ghani equalized in the 29th minute with a scrappy finish from a corner kick, which set in motion the madness to follow. A handball in the Zamalek penalty area led to a Hassan Ali penalty kick attempt, but Awad did brilliantly to deny the midfielder.
Nine minutes later another Zamalek handball created yet another penalty kick opportunity. This time Burkinabé defender Saidou Simpore volunteered for duty but Awad did it again, this time securing the attempt without allowing a rebound. Next it was Zamalek’s turn from the spot when a foul from Masry denying a goal scoring chance resulted in a penalty kick and red card to the visitors. Egyptian Premier League leading scorer Achraf Bencharki stepped up, but astonishingly his penalty was saved as well by Masry keeper Ahmed Daador, who amazingly also saved the follow up rebound attempt.
Bencharki did better from a free kick outside the box in the 60th minute when he curled a beautiful effort past Daador to make it 2-1 to Zamalek. However, another twist was to come following Tarek Hamed’s 67th dismissal to even the numbers. Two minutes later Karim El Eraki’s cross found El Masry’s other Nigerian member, Austin Amutu, for an amazing bicycle kick goal that will be up there among the top goals at the end of the Egyptian domestic season.
Masry thought they had Zamalek contained and a positive road point, but once again VAR intervened with a handball call in the last minutes. Zizo stepped up and Daador had the spot kick read, getting contact with the shot but allowing the ball to just slip under him. The penalty was not convincing but Zizo and Zamalek did not care one bit as three points keeps them 13 points ahead of Al Ahly at the top of the table with five more matches played.
Egypt Today has a match report in the link below, but the highlights further down are truly worth watching.