Sunday,22 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1293, (28 April - 4 May 2016)
Sunday,22 October, 2017
Issue 1293, (28 April - 4 May 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Surprise promotions

Three teams were promoted from the second division to next season’s Egyptian Premier League, reveals Marawan Zayed

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Al-Ahram Weekly

While Egyptian fans are still debating whether Zamalek will be able to retain its Egyptian League title after falling 11 points behind high-flying league leaders Al-Ahly, three teams have already secured their places in next season’s Egyptian Premier League: Tanta, El Nasr lel Tadeen and Al-Sharqia lel Zakazeek.

Only one of those teams will be making its first ever appearance in the top division, El Nasr lel Tadeen, after beating all odds and winning their first ever qualification to the premier league after defeating El Assyouti on penalties after drawing 1-1 at home and away. A 3-2 win in a penalties shootout meant the dream was now a reality for this small team which Egyptian fans know very little about. At the beginning of the season they were tipped to fight for survival, but they did the unthinkable and are now getting ready to face the likes of Ahly and Zamalek for the first time ever in the premier league.

The second team, Tanta, secured their place in the top division by defeating Alaab Damanhour 1-0 on aggregate after drawing the second game 0-0 away at Damanhour. The 1-0 win in the first leg was all they needed to join El Nasr lel Tadeen in the country’s top division next season.

The third and last qualifying team is El Sharqia lel Zakazeek, which did so dramatically by defeating the strong and well known team Tersana through penalties. Two goalless draws meant that one of the two teams would be denied a place in the premier league after the penalties shootout. Tersana were let down by their goalkeeper when he missed his spot after he convinced the team manager to allow him to kick a penalty shot. Unfortunately, he let himself, his teammates and club down when his embarrassingly feeble shot was easily blocked by El Sharqia’s goalkeeper. El Sharqia went on to win 6-5.

The three newcomers to the top league will replace three other teams facing relegation, including Ghazl el Mahala, Haras el Hodoud and Ittihad el Shorta, whose place would become precarious if the status quo continues until the end of the season. This is quite likely, since the teams are losing one game after the next: Ghazl El Mahala and Haras el Hodoud both have an unfortunate 25 and 24 points, respectively, while El Shorta collected 17 points in 25 games. While Ittihad El Shorta has a fighting chance, the fate of El Mahala and El Hodoud is almost sealed.

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