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VIDEO: Koffi stars as Zamalek victorious in Cameroon
Zamalek earned a 1-0 win away from home against Union Douala in Cameroon in the first leg of the CAF Champions League round of 32 tie.
The White Knights started their African campaign aiming for their sixth star in the Champions League under the helm of newly-appointed Scottish manager Alex McLeish. Zamalek’s last African triumph came 14 years ago.
Union Douala XI: Akana; Djetei, Olivier, Fabril, Serge; Heutchou, Henry, Seko, Eliezer, Frantz; Nlend Samuel. #CAFCL
— KingFut.com (@King_Fut) March 13, 2016
Union Douala were already showing their strengths at the beginning of the match as the hosts forced great pressure on Zamalek and were well organized on the pitch. The first chance for Zamalek came in the 15th minute as Mostafa Fathi found Omar Gaber with a lobbed-through pass but the latter failed to convert before the defender’s clearance.
Douala responded quickly as star man Samuel Nlind fired a decent low volley but El-Shennawy saved well in the 19th minute.
In the second half, Zamalek appeared more organized and began to control the game, especially after substituting the injured Moruf Yusuf off for Ahmed Tawfik.
In minute 57, an intelligent free-kick found Mostafa Fathi inside the box, who went past a defender and sent a low shot but Douala goalkeeper Akana produced a fine save.
Mohamed Koffi put Zamalek in front in the 58th minute as the defender intercepted a pass in the middle of the pitch, dribbled past a Douala defender and produced a massive strike to make the score 1-0 to the White Knights.
Mostafa Fathi came close to adding the second for Zamalek with a finesse shot from the edge of the box, but the Douala ‘keeper tipped it over the bar in minute 63.
Douala tried desperately to level things up for the remainder of the second half but Zamalek’s defense and Shennawy produced a fantastic display to keep a clean sheet and secure the win for the Egyptian champions, and also a debut win in African competition for Alex McLeish.
The second leg is set to be played in Cairo on March 19th as Zamalek look to advance to the round of 16.