Zamalek claimed a big victory over bitter rivals Al Ahly in the Cairo Derby of the Egyptian Premier league played on Saturday night.
A clinical White Knights side made the most of some devastating counter attacks to punish a wasteful Ahly side, handing them their first defeat of the season.
In-form Moroccan winger Achraf Bencharki once again stole the show, orchestrating Zamalek’s moves, creating an early goal and contributing to a stoppage-time third, which ended the match as a contest as the Zamalek grabbed a morale-boosting Cairo derby win over the runaway leaders.
Zamalek took a 13th-minute lead after surviving some early Ahly pressure, with winger Ahmed Zizo firing into an empty net after brilliant individual work from Bencharki on the left.
Ahly’s central defender Yasser Ibrahim, at fault for Zamalek’s opener after letting Bencharki skip past him, made up for the mishap to bring the Red Devils level two minutes past the hour mark, finding the net following a goal-mouth scramble.
However, he was again overpowered as striker Mostafa Mohamed restored Zamalek’s advantage in superb fashion, chesting a cross from Hazem Emam despite being closely marked by Ibrahim, swiveling and hitting an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner.
Just as Ahly appeared close to leveling the score again after mounting a late onslaught, youngster Osama Faisal, who came on as a substitute in the final stages, slotted home into an empty net three minutes into the additional time to round off another breakaway and wrap up the win.
Although second-placed Zamalek only managed to close the gap on leaders Ahly to 14 points, they will still be content to record a rare league victory over their perennial rivals, only their third in the last 15 years in the domestic competition.
Zamalek finished with ten men after experienced left-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafi sustained what looked a serious arm injury, having made four substitutions in a maximum of three slots.