Friday cover: Al Ahly and Zamalek bring Egyptian spirit to Al Ain

The National's Sport cover for the Friday, October 16 issue, featuring Al Ahly and Zamalek as they played the Egyptian Super Cup in Al Ain.

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The National’s Sport cover for the Friday, October 16 issue, featuring Al Ahly and Zamalek as they played the Egyptian Super Cup in Al Ain.

The Cairo giants played in front of the rare raucous crowd for Egyptian clubs, where most domestic matches have been played behind closed doors over the past few years, with Ahly taking the Super Cup 3-2 over 2014/15 Egyptian league and cup champions Zamalek.

Omar Al Raisi was at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and describes the scene:

“Like many other high-profile trophy matches, emotions ran high. Players scuffled about 25 minutes into the second half, and individuals from both dugouts joined the pushing and shoving.

“The referee and his assistants were taken off the field until order was restored, and players hugged once the match ended.

“What was a riveting spectacle seemed a gift for Egyptian football fans, who nearly filled the 25,000-capacity stadium to see their country’s biggest sides.

“The atmosphere at the stadium was absolutely electric. Beating drums and choreographed chants were deafening; it seemed almost as if they were being multiplied by loudspeakers.

“Banners of “Egypt-heart-Zayed-sons” were displayed, a touching gesture by the Egyptian fans towards their Emirati hosts. Fans also displayed huge banners as the teams lined up for the national anthems. Without doubt, an atmosphere rarely seen in UAE football.

“Ahly and Zamalek players did not seem to care they were playing outside of their country, not with so many compatriots cheering them on.”

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