Post-match commentary : Zamalek vs Étoile
Zamalek’s spokesman and coaches weigh in on the club moving forward in the Confederation Cup semi-final after a heavy loss.
Following Zamalek’s 5-1 bludgeoning to Étoile du Sahel, the club’s management say they have hopes of a staging comeback but refuse to do so in front of an empty stadium.
Yesterday, Zamalek spokesman Ahmed Mortada Mansour told Egyptian media that authorities would allow 15,000 Egyptian fans into the the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup semi-final in Cairo.
But after today’s loss, Mansour said that the club would refuse to play the final match if authorities back down on their promise to allow spectators.
“Zamalek will not play in Egypt in front of the stars,” Mansour said, adding that he hopes to see both Egyptian and Tunisian fans present at the last leg of the semi-final round.
With less than a week’s turn around, the White Castle will have to put today’s performance out of mind in order to overcome the four-goal deficit.
“The verdict does not turn in the protection of Zamalek players,” said Ismail Youssef, adding that the White Castle were able to beat the Orlando Pirates 4-1 on two occasions during the tournament’s group stage.
Youssef said he is confident the club will be able to muster a similar scoreline next Saturday when Zamalek return to Cairo to face Étoile du Sahel.
Head coach Jesualdo Ferreira likened the match to a “horror movie” in statements following the match..
The Zamalek boss also said he felt the home crowd contributed to half of the loss. He blamed the other half on the players.
“The general atmosphere of the stadium was like a lot of pressure on us,” he said.
Ferreira said the team lacked focus and underestimated Étoile’s players from every position, but asserted that the team did not play a bad game because they were playing in the opposing club’s stadium.
“I am embarrassed for the players and the loss,” Ferreira said, adding that the team will play a worthy next match despite the difficulty of turning a needed four goals over the Stars.
The last time Zamalek surrendered five goals in an African match was in 1987 against Ghanian outfit Asante Kotoko.
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