Egyptian giants Al Ahly capped a memorable season by defeating arch rivals Zamalek 1-0 on Sunday (28 July 2019) in the infamous Cairo Derby as the curtain fell over the 2018-19 Egyptian Premier League.
Tunisian inform import Ali Maaloul scored what proved to be the game’s lone goal at the hour mark in the Alexandria based Borg El Arab stadium to give Cairo Red Devils a moral victory over fiercest rivals, four days after Ahly guaranteed their 41st domestic league title in the penultimate match day.
Ahly raised their tally to 80 points, eight more than Zamalek who led the ranks for almost all of the season that lasted for a full calendar year. But the Red Devils produced a historical comeback to retain the title they won in the last four seasons.
In front of almost empty stands due to security issues, the dead rubber game failed to impress most viewers, till Maaloul – who is unquestionably Ahly’s man of the season – made use of Zamalek’s goalkeeper Emad Elsayed blunder after 60 minutes. Waleed Soliman’s free kick was carelessly handled by Elsayed and Maaloul made us of the rebound ball to score the winner that allowed Ahly supporters to continue their celebrations that started last Wednesday when the Reds officially won the title.
Al Ahly and Zamalek will represent Egypt in the 2019-20 CAF Champions League, while Pyramids FC and Al Masry will hold the torch in the second tier 2019-20 CAF Confederation Cup.
Meanwhile, the trio Nogoom FC, El Dakhleya and Petrojet were relegated to the second tier of Egyptian football. They will be replaced next season by Aswan, Tanta and FC Masr.