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VIDEO: Zamalek advance to group stage despite draw with Béjaïa
The White Castle had previously beaten MO Béjaïa 2-0 in the home leg of the round of 16, which was held at the Petrosport Stadium, before clinching a draw in the second leg against the Algerian side.
Zamalek XI: Ahmed El-Shennawy; Omar Gaber, Hamada Tolba, Ahmed Dweidar, Koffi; Tarek Hamed, Moruf Yusuf, Ayman Hefny; Hazem Emam, Mohamed Ibrahim, Mahmoud Abdel-Moneim Kahraba.
MO Béjaïa XI: Chamseddine Rahmani, Zidane Mebarakou, Sofiane Baouali, Sofiane Khadir, Abdelkader Messaoudi, Lyes Boukria, Soumaila Sidibe, Morgan Betorangal, Okacha Hamzaoui, Faouzi Yaya, Waliou Ndoye.
MO Béjaïa applied high pressure on Zamalek in an attempt to score an early goal that could make things easier for them, as the Cairo giants had a two-goal first leg advantage.
Ten minutes into the game, Zamalek responded for Béjaïa’s control. Hefny’s through-pass behind Béjaïa defenders sent Kahraba one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he sent the ball over the post, to miss a golden chance of giving his side a comfortable early lead.
Béjaïa’s first real chance in the game came in the 28th minute, when a corner was headed by Zidane Mebarakou but found the hands of El-Shennawy.
The 38th minute witnessed Béjaïa’s most dangerous chance of the first half; a cross from the left side was headed by Ndoye but was diverted by El-Shennawy into a corner. The Zamalek keeper made another great save before Hamzoui sent the rebound over the crossbar.
One minute to half time, Béjaïa were awarded a free kick from the edge of the box, but El-Shennawy saved it. He however picked an injury and had to come off to be replaced by Mahmoud Abdel-Rahim ‘Gennesh’.
The second half started with more pressure from Béjaïa who went close after four minutes. Gennesh failed to deal with a cross from the left side before it was cleared by the Zamalek defense.
As the pressure continued, Béjaïa managed to open the scoring in the 57th minute. Faouzi Yaya stepped up for a free kick near the edge of the box, with his shot being slightly deflected from the wall into Gennesh’s net.
The hosts went close again as Borkeba’s header was saved by Gennesh, rescuing Zamalek from the aggregate scoreline being equalised.
Kahraba wasted another chance to level the scoreline in the 72nd minute as he went one-on-one, but his shot went away from the goal.
It was Hamoudi who managed to secure Zamalek progression towards the next round as he scored an equaliser in the 88th minute. Hamoudi received a brilliant pass from Kahraba, which sent him one-on-one with the goalkeeper before he sent the ball into the net.
Béjaïa tried to restore their lead in the remaining minutes of the game with a shot from outside the box, however the ball hit the crossbar.
The game ended in a draw, yet Zamalek managed to reach the group stage, along Algerian ES Setif and Zambian Zesco, after winning 3-1 on aggregate.