Zamalek crowned Confederation Cup champions after VAR, penalty drama
The Whites suffered a 1-0 defeat in Morocco, when meant that they have to win by a two-goal margin in order to secure the title.
Christian Gross started Hamid Ahdaad as the lone striker, Kahraba and Ibrahim Hassan on the winger, with Mohamed Ibrahim and Obama playing as attacking midfielders.
Tarek Hamed was the only defensive midfielder for Zamalek, and Mohamed Abdelghany replaced suspended Hamdi Nagguez, with Mahmoud Alaa, Mohamed Hamdy El-Wensh, and Abdallah Gomaa completing a four-man defence.
Surprisingly, the visitors started the game searching for an early goal to kill the tie and they had a golden chance to do so after only five minutes when Hamdi Laachir found himself through on goal, but his shot went over the bar.
Two minutes later, Hamid Ahdaad also put Obama through on goal, but the forward failed to tame the ball and tried to lob the goalkeeper, however, like Laachir, his shot went over the bar.
That was a wake-up call for RS Berkane, who then began to tighten up their defence, and Zamalek failed to create any clear-cut chances in the remainder of the first-half.
Three yellow cards were handed to Amine El-Kass, Bakr El-Helali, and Mahmoud Gennesh after brawl in the dying moments of the half.
Zamalek started the second-half much better and had chances through Ahdad and Kahraba, but the duo couldn’t find the net.
However, in the 50th minute, Zamalek were awarded a penalty after Bamlak Tessema consulted the VAR and confirmed that Najji Larbi stopped Ibrahim Hassan’s shot by his hand.
Mahmoud Alaa stepped up and converted the penalty, making it 1-1 on aggregate.
Zamalek continued to miss a handful of opportunities following the goal, and Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba nearly punished them but his shot from inside the box was saved by Gennesh.
Kahraba nearly snatched the victory in the 74th minute, when headed Abdallah Gomaa’s perfect cross, but it was turned into a corner by the goalkeeper.
In the 90th minute, the VAR was consulted once again as Bamlak Tessema sent Omar Nemsaoui off for elbowing Mahmoud Kahraba.
Both teams failed to score in the dying minutes which meant the two teams will have to head into penalties to decide the winner of the cup.
The Whites managed to convert all five of their shootouts, while RS Berkane missed their opening penalty by Hamdi Laachir as Zamalek lifted the title.
This becomes the club’s first contentinal title since 2002 when they beat Morocco’s Raja Casablanca in the final of the CAF Champions League.
This also marks the second time that an Egyptian side managed to win the Conferedation Cup after Al Ahly’s triumph in 2014.
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