CAIRO: A wonder goal from Shikabala helped Zamalek register an easy 2-0 victory over a stuttering Petrojet side in the Egyptian Premier League on Sunday.
Shikabala, who’s persistently chased by Belgian side Anderlecht, scored deep into injury time to put the result beyond doubt.
The skillful playmaker rounded off a counter attack when he cunningly dribbled past a couple of challengers before hitting the top corner of the net with a precise drive.
Shikabala caused Zamalek to get into a legal battle with Anderlecht of late, with the latter club claiming that the 24-year-old had penned a four-year contract with them.
However, Shika’s celebration could well be deemed an indication to his commitment to Zamalek, having repeatedly kissed the logo of the club on his jersey.
A headed goal from Amr Zaki gave Zamalek the lead over Petrojet on the quarter-hour mark.
Robust striker Zaki notched up his previous open-play goal at club level late in 2008 when he was plying his trade at Wigan Athletic.
He scored in Zamalek’s league opener against Harras Hodoud, which ended in a 2-2 draw, upon converting a penalty kick.
On the other hand, Essam Al-Hadari made his competitive debut for the White Knights. He was not really tested, thanks to Petrojet’s lackluster performance.
The Cairo side’s victory is their first this season.
Zamalek were clearly in control of the game right from the start, with the Petroleum side completely off-form and unorganized.
After seven minutes, Zaki squandered a golden chance when he went one-on-one with the goalie but his poor execution was no threat.
Abou Kone also wasted another opportunity five minutes later when he capitalized on Petrojet’s sloppy defending to steal the ball near the box but missed his shot.
Zaki made amends for the chance he spurned by opening the scoring, when he statically headed home a Hussein Yasser curling corner-kick.
Zamalek took a stranglehold on the match after the opening goal.
Abou Kone, who joined Hossam Hassan’s side this summer, tried to double the hosts’ advantage on 20 minutes but his long-range header went wide.
Shikabala came close to scoring his maiden goal this season three minutes past the hour mark.
A well-placed shot from the Egypt playmaker hit the post before the ball was cleared away by Petrojet’s defense.
The visitors’ first chance fell to Mohamed Ibrahim who penetrated the area before missing the target by some distance.
Zamalek keep upper hand
Zamalek kept the upper hand after the interval while Petrojet could not redeem themselves.
Kone, who scored an impressive goal on his competitive debut for Zamalek against Hodoud, came close to adding his name to the score sheet.
The Ivorian striker made room for himself near the edge of the area to release a low shot that went inches past the post.
Midway through the second period, Zaki could have completed a brace with a header from an acute angle, only to see his effort go high over.
Zamalek’s new signing Ashour Al-Adham fired a powerful free-kick from around 35 feet that was hardly blocked by keeper Ibrahim Abdul-Gawad.
Shikabala put the icing on the cake right before the final whistle.