Zamalek legend Hazem Emam says winning African title ‘not impossible’
Egypt and Zamalek legend Hazem Emam believes the White Castle can produce a comeback and win the CAF Champions League title against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Zamalek will need to overcome a 3-0 deficit to claim their first continental title in 14 years, after a disappointing first leg result at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
Emam, who is a board member at the Egyptian Football Association, expressed his optimism about Zamalek chances of winning the title, saying that final games depend on different variables.
“Final matches don’t require talking about plans and tactics. They’re about players playing with spirit,” Emam told Sada El Balad satellite channel ahead of the return leg in Borg El-Arab Stadium on Sunday.
“Any African team that plays in Egypt collapses after conceding an early goal in the first 10 minutes of the game due to pressure from fans attending the match,” he added.
Acknowledging the difficulty of the mission, Emam shared some advice with Zamalek team that would help them overcome the deficit and clinch the title.
“It’s a tough mission, but not impossible. We need to play it smart and in the right way without creating any gaps on the pitch because conceding a goal would end Zamalek’s hopes,” he said.
“The midfielders must support the three defenders. The offense doesn’t require many technical abilities because the basics of football are not taught in the final. Each player should concentrate and perform in his position,” he explained.
Emam said that Zamalek coach Momen Soliman doesn’t have a lot of options, yet the team can still exploit their opponent’s weaknesses and win the title.
“Sundowns’ defense line is their weakest link and we need to take advantage of this through passes from Ayman Hefny and movements of Bassem Morsy and Stanley [Ohawuchi],” he concluded.
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