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Injury-hit Zamalek secure narrow win to go clear of Pyramids in second-place race
Published in Ahram Online on 06 - 09 - 2020

A second-half goal from forward Youssef Ibrahim gave Zamalek a narrow 1-0 win over a plucky Talae El-Geish side as they made light of their injuries to go six points clear in the race to finish second in the Egyptian Premier League.
Ibrahim headed home the winner 12 minutes into the second half as Zamalek claimed their third straight win in their pursuit of the last African Champions League qualifying spot.
They have 51 points, six clear of third-placed Pyramids with nine matches remaining as they capitalized on the latter's surprise defeat by Gouna earlier on Sunday.
However, Zamalek will be deducted three points at the end of the season for failing to show up for a Cairo derby meeting with Ahly in February.
El-Geish lie 13th in the table on 26 points.
Zamalek's Moroccan forward Achraf Bencharki, their standout performer this year, was injured in the warm-up while Tunisian midfield linchpin Ferjani Sassi was replaced seven minutes before the break after an apparent back complaint as fixture congestion continued to take its toll on the team.
El-Geish had the better of the first half, with two shots from Karim Tarek and Ahmed Samir going just over the bar.
Zamalek had a solitary chance on the stroke of halftime when Ibrahim was found by a defence-splitting pass from Moroccan winger Mohamed Ounajem, only to hit a poor shot wide of the post from inside the area.
El-Geish pinned their illustrious opponents in their own half in the early stages of the second period but the White Knights found the net against the run of play.
An inviting cross from diminutive left-back Abdallah Gomaa found Ibrahim unmarked to head home in off the post, with the goal taking the wind out of El-Geish sails as Zamalek dominated the remainder of the game.
Zamalek winger Mostafa Fathi made his long-awaited return from injury after coming on in the 58th minute and could have scored when his curling effort narrowly missed the target in the 74th minute.
El-Geish spurned a golden chance to equalise with four minutes remaining when a header from substitute Amr Gamal went just wide.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)


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