Aboutreika gives Ahly vital derby victory over Zamalek
Veteran Mohamed Aboutreika scored what proved to be the game's only goal 10 minutes from time to give Al Ahly a vital win over their arch rivals Zamalek at the 2012 Orange CAF Champions League Group B encounter on Sunday at the Cairo Military Academy Stadium.
Ahly took their tally to 6 points and moved to the top of the group leaving their bitter rivals trailing pointless. The clash between the most successful clubs in Egyptian football history was held behind closed doors for security reasons.
Both teams started the game slowly exhibiting cautiousness in midfield, with Ahly's Waleed Suleiman having the first chance with a shot on 13 minutes that went wide. Minutes later, Aboutreika could have given the Red Devils the opener when his shot from a free-kick was cleared off the line by Cameroon-import Alexis Mendomo on the goal line.
On the other side, Zamalek's Ahmed Samir saw himself going one on one with Ahly's keeper Sherif Ekramy, but the latter stopped the ball in time. But it was Zamalek's Burkinabe striker Abdullah Cisse who had the last chance in the first half, with his header going wide.
After the break, Zamalek was the better side and playmaker Mohamed Ibrahim came close twice within a spate of four minutes. In the first instance, his shot just missed the post before Ekramy stopped his scorcher with a good save.
Ahly manager Houssam El Badry introduced Abdullah El Said for skipper Houssam Ghaly and Mohamed Nagy "Geddo" for Mohamed Barakat to bring more life into his attack. His Zamalek counterpart Hassan Shehata also brought on Ahmed Gaafar for Ahmed Hassan and Islam Awad for the injured Cisse, and finally Hazem Emam for Mohamed Ibrahim.
The changes worked the favour of Ahly and saw Geddo and El Said creating more chances for the Reds.
Aboutreika should have broken the deadlock from a free kick on 72 minutes, but Samir cleared the ball just before crossing the goal line. Eight minutes later, the veteran midfielder scored the decider after soaring above his markers to head home El Said's cross into the net.
After the goal, Aboutreika left his place for youngster Mahmoud Hassan "Trezeguet" but El Badry'd side held onto to yet a famous victory over their bitterest rivals.