2/14/2020 10:28:15 PM

Zamalek win CAF Super Cup in Doha

Zamalek win CAF Super Cup in Doha

Doha, Qatar: Zamalek started with a bang scoring as early as the second minute and finished off in the same style with a third goal deep in added time to defeat CAF Champions League winners Esperance Sportive de Tunis and win the CAF Super Cup at Al Gharafa Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Friday.

In front of 19,000 -odd crowd, the majority of which were screaming for them, Zamalek silenced the small but well-orchestrated supporters of Esperance with an early goal.

Mohamed Abouzeid left his marker in his wake on the left and whipped in a cross into the six-yard box, where Yousef Obama Fayed met it with a thumping header, and although Esperance goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifa got his hands to the ball, it ended up in the back of the net.

Esperance were shocked by the early goal and were living dangerously in the opening period as Zamalek were all over them.

The Tunisians, who lost to Moroccan side Raja Casablanca in the Super Cup last year at the same venue, tried to come back into the match with their short, passing game and created a fine chance in the 14th minute.

A move through the left flank saw Hamdou Mohamed cut the ball back into the centre of the penalty area but Kwame Bansu failed to connect properly and his off-balance shot was wide of the target.
A few minutes later another beautifully worked move,  which was an exact replica of the earlier attack, saw Mohamed pulling the ball back again and Bansu's shot this time was blocked in front of the goalkeeper.

But Zamalek had tasted blood and Mostafa Abdalla's shot from distance just missed the target.

Abdalla was shooting at sight and another long ranger fizzed past the crossbar drawing a collective roar from the crowd.

Zamalek came close to increasing the lead in the 39th minute as a shot from the right hit the crowded defence and deflected wide of the target.

A couple of minutes later Abdalla found his range stung Ben Cherifa's hands with another scorching shot but Achraf Bencharki failed to put away the rebound as Zamalek finished the half looking for more.

Esperance started the second half on a lot more positive note and got the reward for that when they got a penalty following a long VAR delay after the ball hit Mahmoud Hamdi's hand.

Abdelraouf Benguit sent the penalty into the roof of the net in the 54th minute and brought the Tunisians right back into the match.

Their joy, however, was shortlived as four minutes later Bencharki snatched Bansu's disastrous miss pass in Esperance's half and shrugged off the challenge of the Ghanaian, who had a terrible game, before nonchalantly hitting the ball into the net through the legs of Mohamed Yakoubi.

Though Esperance had the upper hand in terms of possession, Zamalek were far more dangerous with their attacks and in the 70th minute Youssef Morsy drew a fine save from Ben Cherifa.

Esperance were struggling to create clear-cut chances and were restricted to shots from distance which failed to test Mohamed Ali in Zamalek goal. They also had a goal by Mohamed Ali Ben Hamouda disallowed in the 86th minute for a clear foul. 

Zamalek then put the icing on the cake in the fifth minute of added time when Bencharki calmly slotted the ball past Ben Cherifa after a counter-attack.

Bencharki had a golden opportunity to complete his hattrick in the minute but his header sailed wide of the target with Ben Cherifa well beaten.

It did not matter though as they had sealed the title by then.

Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron said it was a tough match.

"It was very difficult especially after we scored the first goal," said Carteron. 

"We knew it would be a tough match but we wanted to play our game. This win will give us immense confidence ahead of our future games," added the Frenchman.

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