Egypt: Cairo Is Red As Al Ahly Defeats Rivals Zamalek in Derby

Al Ahly training ground, top left, Pitso Mosimane, coach

Striker Mohamed Sherif scored a brace in the opening half, as African champions Al Ahly defeated continental runners-up and eternal rivals Zamalek 2-1 on Sunday (18 April 2021) in a rescheduled Matchday 4 game of the 2020-21 Egyptian Premier League at Cairo International Stadium.

The score is an imitation to the same result when both giants locked horns in the 2019-20 Total CAF Champions League final last November at the same venue, in what was described then as the "Final of the Century".

Zamalek skipper Mahmoud Abdel Razek "Shikabala" scored his side's lone goal between Sherif's double, as the Red Devils raised their tally to 30 points, three shy of their archrivals but with three games in hand.

Al Ahly went to the game missing numerous key players due to injury, including Tunisian sensation Ali Maaloul and Nigerian import Oluwafemi "Junior" Ajayi, besides losing goalkeeper and captain Mohamed Elshennawy who tested positive to COVID-19.

But the defending Egyptian and African champions seemed not disturbed with that fact, and could have taken the lead less than a minute into the game when Sherif's effort from close range missed the target narrowly,

He was still the one to open the score after 20 minutes, when he received skipper Ayman Ashraf through ball after a freekick to score past Zamalek goalkeeper Mahmoud Abdel Rehim "Gennish" and give Al Ahly what looked like a deserved lead.

Shikabala restored parity for hosts Zamalek at the half hour mark with a "trademark" finish at the half hour mark. It was an identical goal to the one he scored in the Champions League final, cutting from right side and sending a left foot curling shot into the net.

But Al Ahly took the lead again just four minutes later, when Sherif made use of a loose ball and sent a bullet from 25 yards away to make it 2-1.

After the break, Zamalek had most of the chances as they searched for the equalizer. Their best chance came at the hour mark when Video Assistant Referee (VAR) awarded them a penalty. But Mahmoud Alaa effort from 11 yards away was saved by Ahly's stand in keeper Ali Lotfy.

And just before the final whistle, Lotfy was there once again to Ahly's rescue when he saved Alaa's header from a close range four minutes into injury time.

Cairo rivals will lock horns again in three weeks when they face in the matchday 21 game on 10 May 2021.

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