Zamalek hang on in Morocco, edge Wydad to Champions League final
Zamalek endured a difficult night in Rabat as they lost 5-2 to Wydad Casablanca, to qualify for the 2016 CAF Champions League final with an aggregate score of 6-5.
Before the match Wydad Casablanca manager Mohamed Sahil had vowed to give Zamalek ‘a bad night’ at the Prince Moulay Abdellah stadium in Rabat, Morocco.
It seemed that his charges were going to prove their manager right, as William Jebor scored the opening goal after just 12 minutes.
Ismail El-Haddad turned from provider to scorer just seven minutes later to make it 2-0, as the pressure started to get to Zamalek.
The hosts were buoyed by the noisy home supporters, and almost scored a third just inside the half-hour mark, but Momen Soliman’s men instead got on the scoresheet; Bassem Morsy chested the ball in after great work from Stanley Ohawuchi.
As the half time whistle neared, the visitors began to think of the second period, but Jebor struck again with seconds to spare – from another El-Haddad assist – to send his side into the break with a two-goal advantage.
Wydad needed three more goals to qualify, and Fabrice Ondama made a big contribution to the cause by scoring in the 56th and 64th minutes, the latter coming from a controversial penalty called for a handball by Egypt international Aly Gabr.
Zamalek became more aggressive in their play, as they risked their players getting booked – or sent off – in order to quell their opponents’ relentless waves of attack.
Summer signing Ohawuchi had the last laugh, however, showing great skill and composure to dribble into the area and find the back of the net to seal a 6-5 win on aggregate for the Whites, after their 4-0 win in Egypt last week.
Zamalek will face fellow Group B rivals Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the 2016 CAF Champions League final, after the latter defeated ZESCO United 3-2 on aggregate.
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