Ahly beat Zamalek

CAIRO - Angolan Flavio Amado scored twice as African champions Al-Ahly beat Zamalek 2-1 this weekend in the biggest domestic club match on the continent.

The Cairo derby ranks among the most high profile in the world and the result took Ahly seven points clear of Ismailia at the halfway stage of the Egyptian championship.

Zamalek, who share with Ahly the record of five CAF Champions League titles, lie third a further two points behind and have played one match more than the teams above them.

Ahly have not lost a competitive match in Egypt since the July 2004 defeat by another Cairo club, Arab Contractors, in a national cup final settled by a stoppage-time goal.

Goalkeeper Essam al-Hadary was a surprise inclusion in the Ahly line-up after being injured this month in the Fifa Club World Cup, where the "Red Devils" finished third behind Internacional of Brazil and Barcelona of Spain.

But Ahly lost Wael Gomaa, just before the kickoff at the 80 000-seat Cairo Stadium when the defender was injured while warming up and midfielder Mohamed Shawky retired hurt during the first half.

Zamalek squandered a chance to rock Ahly in the early stages when an Amr Zaki penalty kick was saved and Amado punished Zamalek with headed goals after 30 and 41 minutes. - Sapa-AFP