1 - 7 June 2000
Issue No. 484
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
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Still going strongBy Abeer Anwar
The country's premier clubs -- Ahli, Zamalek and Ismaili -- went through to the quarter-finals of African football club competitions in second-leg matches that held few surprises.
Zamalek's 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory in Ethiopia against Coffee in the Cup Winners Cup was a close shave. Regulation time had ended 2-1 in Coffee's favour, the same score that Zamalek had beaten Coffee with in their first-leg encounter in Cairo two weeks ago. In Addis Ababa, playing in front of 35,000 spectators, Coffee scored the go-ahead goal in the 13th minute. Abdel-Halim Ali tied it for Zamalek in the 25th minute but a last-minute penalty by Coffee dashed any hopes of Zamalek ending early the Ethiopians' title hopes.
In the spot kicks, Zamalek keeper Mohamed Abdel-Mounsef, substituted for Abdel-Wahid El-Sayed, saved two shots to lead his team onto the quarter-finals. The substitution came after El-Sayed had banged his head on the post in a diving effort to save a shot.
In Burundi, in the Champions League Cup, the most prestigious of the three tournaments, Ahli lost 2-1 to Vitalo O but still scrapped by 4-2 on aggregate. Ahli had won the first encounter 3-0 and looked set to at least draw in Burundi. Alaa Ibrahim levelled for Ahli in the second half after Vitalo had gone ahead on a penalty kick in the first. But another goal from the spot gave Vitalo the victory though it was not enough for an outright pass to Round 8.
Ismaili went through to the quarter-finals of the Confederation Cup without kicking a ball after Hai Al-Arab of Sudan forfeited the second leg. The Sudanese were thrashed 8-0 in Ismailia in their away match and undoubtedly preferred not to suffer a repeat. But the decision cost them. The team was fined $3,000 and slapped with a three-year suspension from playing in any African club competition.