Monday,16 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1245, (7 - 13 May 2015)
Monday,16 July, 2018
Issue 1245, (7 - 13 May 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Two to go

In an unprecedented achievement both Zamalek and Smouha qualified to the 16th round of their respective African club competitions, Abeer Anwar reports

Al-Ahram Weekly

Zamalek stunned all by beating Morocco’s FUS Rabat 3-2 in Rabat, making up for their first leg goalless draw to advance to another last-16 stage of the African Confederation Cup.

Zamalek made up for their first leg draw in Cairo two weeks ago when Bassem Morsi header on the quarter-hour mark to leave/ FUS needing two goals to progress. Thus Morsi became Zamalek’s top scorer with a total of 10 goals, nine of which are in the league.

In the second half, FUS Rabat tied through Marwane Saadane  in the 40th minute followed by another blow from Mourad Batna on 72 minutes to take a 2-1 lead. But Omar Gaber scored in the 84th minute for a 2-2 draw which was good enough before Hazem Emam added an insurance goal in the 90th minute.

Football pundit Mohamed Salah said the best player of the match was Zamalek’s team.  

The White Knights, who are making their first appearance in the Confederation Cup since 2004, may face arch rivals Ahly in the last 16 after the Red Devils were eliminated from the African Champions League at the hands of Morocco’s Moghreb Tetouan following a penalty shootout a day earlier.

But Egyptian debutants Smouha proceeded to the next stage of the Champions League after a 2-1 aggregate win over Congolese club AC Leopards.

Losing 1-0 from the first leg, Smouha scored through goals by Ahmed Shoukri and Salah Amin which gave the Alex club a memorable victory. They ensured Egypt had a representation at the last eight of the 2015 Orange CAF Champions League.

Farag Amer, Smouha president: “It is a great achievement for the team, for Egypt and for the Alexandrians who have waited for such a moment since a long time. I hope we will continue our success and be able to compete for the title.”

As to the other results, holders Algeria’s Entente Setif squeezed into the group phase after drawing 2-2 against Raja Casablanca to win 4-1 on penalties leaving the North African clubs tied at 4-4 on aggregate.

USM hold a 2-1 advantage over Guineans AS Kaloum who must host their second leg in neighbouring Mali because of the Ebola epidemic.

Eulma are slightly better off as they did not concede a goal at home when winning 1-0 against vastly more experienced Tunisian outfit CS Sfaxien.

Setif, USM and Eulma are hoping to create history as three clubs from the same country have never made it to the Champions League group stage.

TP Mazembe, the most successful DR Congo club in Africa with four Champions League titles, host Stade Malien following a 2-2 draw in Mali.

But compatriots Sanga Balende, making a rare appearance, are in trouble having lost 1-0 at home to Sudanese Al Hilal.

Esperance are the other Tunisian challengers and trail El Merrikh 1-0 from the first leg in Sudan.

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