Zamalek beats El Masry as Egyptian Premier League resumes

Zamalek in action against El Masry in an Egyptian Premier League at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria. COURTESY: TWITTER/Zamalek S.C.

The Egyptian Premier League resumed on Thursday after more than four months of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Egyptian FA said in July that the first set of matches to be played will be those that were postponed.

In Thursday’s game, which was played behind closed doors, Zamalek narrowly defeated El Masry 1-0 at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria.

Defender Mahmoud Alaa scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes into the second half as the hosts claimed all three points in a match they dominated.

Zamalek’s participation came as a surprise to some as the 12-time league champions had previously said that they will not return to the pitch to train or play before the coronavirus is gone and a cure is found.

Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron said he was happy with the result which he said was crucial to getting the team into next season’s CAF Champions League.

“I’m happy with the players’ attitude, we were physically dominant which is what you need against a team that defends deep such as El Masry,” Carteron said.

“Our performance dropped by the end of the game but we still could have scored a second goal. Overall I am happy with the team, they’ve worked hard during our closed training camps and I’m happy we got the three points.

The win sees Zamalek climb up to second place on 34 points, 15 behind runaway leaders Al Ahly, while El Masry remains in 10th on 20 points.

The next league match in the league is scheduled to be played on Sunday between Misr Lel Makassa and Aswan at Arab Contractors Stadium.