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Football

Al Ahly edge Zamalek to win 39th Egyptian Cup

RIYADH

Al Ahly were crowned Egyptian Cup winners for a record-extending 39th time after goals from Imam Ashour and Mohamed Afsha secured a 2-0 victory over bitter rivals Zamalek in Friday’s final in Riyadh.

In the first cup final to be held outside of Egypt, a capacity crowd at the Al Waleed Park Stadium witnessed a tight derby clash that remained goalless until the 84th minute.

After a scramble in the Zamalek box, Ashour reacted quickest to prod the ball home from close range and give Al Ahly a lead their dominance deserved.

Zamalek pushed for an equaliser but were caught on the counter in the fourth minute of stoppage time as Afsha lashed a fierce drive past goalkeeper Mohamed Awad to make it 2-0.

The goals sparked scenes of wild celebration from the Al Ahly players and their travelling support at claiming yet another domestic honour.

But the star of the show was goalkeeper Ashour who was impressiver, including the goal he scored that boosted the confidence of his side to go further and win the match.

The Egypt international was rightfully named man of the match as Al Ahly secured their first Egyptian Cup played outside the country.

The capacity crowd at the Al Waleed Park Stadium that witnessed the match is futher proof of African football’s popularity beyond the continent following the successful TotalEnergies CAF African Cup of Nations held in Cote d’Ivoire last month.

The win for Ahly continues an extraordinary period of success for the Cairo giants, who have now won 11 of the last 13 domestic cup competitions.

For Zamalek, it was more disappointment in their bid to end Al Ahly’s dominance, having not won the cup since 2019.

The magnitude of this latest setback is heightened by the fact they lost the Egyptian Premier League title to Ahly last season.

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