Micho Feeling the Pressure as Zamalek Draw with Lowly FC Masr

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar October 7, 2019 22:33

Micho Feeling the Pressure as Zamalek Draw with Lowly FC Masr

By Satish Sekar at Cairo’s Al-Sabah Stadium © Satish Sekar (October 6th 2019)

Under Pressure

Milutin (Micho) Srejdović, coach of Zamalek, was reportedly ‘too angry’ to face reporters after his team’s drab 1-1 draw against FC Masr, which is only the visitors’ second point of the season.

Masr cancelled out Moroccan international Achraf ben Charki’s 16th minute opener with virtually the last kick of the first half. Omar el-Habashy scored the goal which could help decide the Serbian tactician’s fate.

Zamalek boss, Mortada Mansour’s trigger-happy finger is believed to be itching after a poor start – Micho could come to quickly regret his trophy taunt against former team Orlando Pirates, and at leisure.

A bad result against bitter rivals, Al Ahly, the most successful team in Egyptian football with an incredible 41 domestic titles, whom the White Knights face next is expected to cost the Serbian his job.

But if it does Micho will demand his contract be paid off. If so, where does that leave the Buccaneers?

Micho quit the first South African winners of the Champions League without winning a trophy there, earlier this year. He claimed personal reasons led to his departure.

Whatever those reasons were – he hasn’t detailed them – they seem to have been conquered quickly. He rapidly joined the White Knights.


Ben Charki had been put through on the right of the area by Youssef Obama after quarter of an hour. He shot across the keeper from a tight angle to open the scoring.

In the last five minutes of the half, FC Masr’s Islam Salah tested the Zamalek defence with probing crosses. Egypt’s keeper, Mohamed Awad, could do nothing to prevent el-Habashy blasting Salah’s cross from the right into the roof of the net at the far post to equalise.


Due to security concerns in Egypt all Egyptian league matches are played in stadia without fans. This meant that there were no Zamalek fans in Cairo’s Al-Sabah Stadium to appreciate ben Charki’s gesture of solidarity with injured Egyptian team-mate Mahmoud Zizou when he opened the scoring.

Zizou suffered cruciate ligament damage three days ago in Zamalek’s match against Makassa. The defensive midfielder is expected to be out for six months. Ben Charki celebrated by holding up Zizou’s shirt.

Near Misses

Awad distinguished himself with a fine save from Mahmoud Toba’s long-range effort at the expense of a corner, which he then failed to deal with. Ahmed abd el Majwod should have made him pay, but headed wide after 25 minutes.

Almost a quarter of an hour later Salah’s cross deserved a better finish, but Mostafa Sultan blasted well over from close range. Three minutes later Mohamed el Salam was booked for a bad foul on Sultan.

Masr striker Ahmed Saidi suffered the indignity of being replaced more than ten minutes before half-time by Mohamed Jamal for tactical reasons.

The visitors gave thanks at half time after going into the break all square.

Fortune and Misfortune

Zamalek were both fortunate and unfortunate in the second half. A bad high tackle by Omar el Said on Toba could easily have produced a straight red, but the referee decided that yellow was sufficient punishment. Masr coach, Osama Nabieh, had no complaints. “It wasn’t a red card,” he said.

And at the end of the match in a long period of added time, caused by a number of injuries, Masr should have grabbed a winner, but Awad, who had bravely denied el-Habashy in a one on one against the striker after 64 minutes – el-Habashy stayed down, and had to be replaced 5 minutes later – produced a superb save to deny Ahmed el-Sheikh.

It seemed to affect the Masr substitute who committed a needless foul soon after, and, with almost the last kick of the match, appeared fortunate not to have conceded a penalty for a reckless challenge on Hamdy Nagguez.

Nabieh was unconvinced. “It wasn’t a penalty,” he said.

Whatever Micho thought he didn’t share. Nevertheless, the incidents seemed worthy of assistance, but there’s no VAR in Egyptian football – yet.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar October 7, 2019 22:33


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