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CAF Champions League: Zamalek edge Al Hilal in Cairo
Cairo giants Zamalek have managed to register their first win in the CAF Champions League group stage this season after beating Al Hilal Omdurman 2-1 in Cairo today.
Dominique Da Silva opened the scoring for Zamalek in the first five minutes of the match, Mudathir ‘Careca’ managed to equalise before Abdel-Shafy nicked it late on for Mido’s men with a fine low-drilled shot.
Zamalek: Abdel-Wahed (C) ; Gaber, Fathallah, Ibrahim, Abdel-Shafy; Tawfik, Nour El-Sayed; Mohamed Ibrahim, Momen Zakaria, Dominique; Youssef ‘Obama’
Al Hilal: Genaro; Cisse, Simbo, Atir Thomas, Saaed; Shigail, Omar Bakhiet (C), Khalifa; Hamid; Bakri, Mudathir ‘Kareka’
Zamalek started the game very well and looked to attack right from kick-off, wanting to score an early goal to ease proceedings.
The Whites managed to get that goal five minutes in after Abdel-Shafy’s pinpoint cross found Dominique Da Silva, who headed home under no pressure from Al Hilal’s defenders to put Mido’s men in front.
Zamalek carried on to dominate possession with Al Hilal threatening mainly from counter attacks.
The equaliser came in 25th minute, after a terrible mistake by young centre-back Yasser Ibrahim, who miscontrolled under pressure, before the ball fell kindly to Mudathir “Careca”, who rounded Abdel-Wahed and finished neatly.
The game was starting to balance, however, Al Hilal looked very tactically naive and allowed Zamalek to pressure them after equalising. They managed to hold on and the first-half ended 1-1, with Zamalek no doubt the better side.
The second-half started in the same way, Al Hilal manager Paulo Campos carried on with 3 defensive midfielders and Zamalek were finding it very easy to penetrate.
Al Hilal were not able to pressure or hold possession, just piling up in defence and playing on the counter attack.
Zamalek’s best chances fell to Hazem Emam and Mohamed Ibrahim, but keeper Juma Genaro made his presence felt on both occasions.
The Sudanese side had a golden chance to turn the table on Mido’s men, when “Careca” played-in Malian striker Coulibaly, who controlled well and found himself one-on-one with Abdel-Wahed, but blasted over.
Zamalek continued to control the game and finally managed to score after left-back Abdel-Shafy controlled well in the area and was allowed to turn and fire a venomous right-footed shot low to Genaros right, to put the Whites in the lead once again.
Al Hilal tried to muster an equaliser put it was all too little too late as Zamalek cruised to victory.
Matchday three will see Zamalek next travel to Lubmumbashi in two weeks to face Congolese giants TP Mazembe, whereas Al Hilal host AS Vita in Omdurman.
The group stage phase will then take a break for the World Cup and continue afterwards.