Ahly, Zamalek draw dull Cairo derby

Arch Egyptian rivals Al-Ahly and Zamalek drew 0-0 this weekend at Cairo Stadium in the biggest African club football derby.

The result left the pace-setting 'White Knights' of Zamalek six points clear of the fourth placed 'Red Devils' of Ahly 14 rounds into the 16-club national championship.

Zamalek, seeking to end a six-season Ahly monopoly of the league, have 31 points after nine victories, four draws and a solitary loss under coach and former national team star Hossam Hassan.

Ismailia and ENPPI share second place on 26 points followed by Ahly one point behind as the halfway mark approaches in one of the most exciting Egyptian title races for many years.

After so much pre-match media hype, the Cairo clubs who have won 11 African championships between them largely failed to entertain the crowd with caution the priority.

While ex-striker Hassan has turned around the fortunes of Zamalek, Ahly are expected to ditch caretaker Abdulaziz 'Zizo' Shafy soon and bring Portuguese Manuel Jose back for a third spell as coach.

Both teams will compete in the 2011 African Champions League with Zamalek facing Ulinzi Stars of Kenya while Ahly received a bye and meet SuperSport United of South Africa or Matlama of Lesotho at the last-32 knockout stage.