Preview: Zamalek likely to seal smooth progress to CL 2nd preliminary round

Ahram Online , Sunday 25 Sep 2022

Zamalek will be firm favourites to reach the second preliminary round of the African Champions League when they host Chad's Elect-Sport in Cairo on Sunday, having claimed a comfortable 2-0 first-leg advantage.

Zamalek
Ahmed Zizo (R) scored Zamalek s second goal in the 2-0 first-leg win over Elect-Sport (Photo: Zamalek s official Facebook page)

 

The White Knights found no difficulty brushing aside their modest opponents in an away game played in Cameroonian capital Yaounde in the first preliminary round last week, moving within touching distance of a place in the next stage.

Two second-half goals in the space of six minutes from veteran schemer Mahmoud Shikabala and in-form winger Ahmed Zizo gave Zamalek an easy win.

The team will miss several Egyptian internationals in the second leg though, including midfielder Emam Ashour and left-back Ahmed Fattouh, as the Pharaohs prepare for a friendly game against Liberia on Tuesday.

However, Egypt coach Rui Vitoria, who said he was stunned that a Champions League game was being played during an international break, said he would allow defender Mahmoud El-Wensh and Zizo to leave the team's training camp and return to Zamalek.

Zamalek also have shortage of options because of the departure of several players but they will be able to field two of their new signings, Senegalese forward Ibrahima Ndiaye and Moroccan midfielder Zakaria El Wardi, in the second preliminary round should they advance.

Coach Jesualdo Ferreira already has his eyes set on delivering a Champions League trophy that has eluded Zamalek for two decades.

Zamalek, who claimed back-to-back Egyptian Premier League titles, won the last of their five Champions League crowns in 2002.

"In the last two seasons, Zamalek won the league title but they haven't won the African Champions League for 20 years," Ferreira told Portuguese sports newspaper Record.

"Zamalek reached the Champions League final under Jaime Pacheco but they lost the title to [arch-rivals] Ahly two years ago, so our main target is to win it this time around."

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