Patrice Carteron praises Zamalek players, discusses win over Esperance
The White Knights defeated Esperance 3-1 in the first leg of the CAF Champions League quarter-final on Friday in convincing fashion.
Esperance opened the scoring in the first half as goals from Mohamed Ounajem, Achraf Bencharki, and Mahmoud Alaa secured the victory for Zamalek.
Following the victory, Patrice Carteron praised his side after last week’s controversy while explaining how side came back and turned the game around in the second half.
“It was a complicated game after a tough week, especially after we played the African Super Cup game against Esperance and then the Egyptian one against Al Ahly,” Carteron said in a press conference after the game.
“We were also distracted in training a few days ago because we didn’t know if we were going to play against Al Ahly on Monday or not.
“The players showed great character to get through this and their hard work and spirit was the reason we won today.
“Esperance were in control for the opening 20 minutes and after they scored, we had to change our defensive set up.
“Mohamed Ounajem’s goal came at the perfect time because it gave us a huge confidence boost.
“It’s good that we scored three goals before we go into the second leg. We believe we can qualify for the semi-finals but a historical game in Rades awaits us next week,” Carteron added.
Carteron’s side have now defeated Esperance for the second time this month after their 3-1 victory in the CAF Super Cup game in Doha two weeks.
Zamalek will travel to Rades next Friday to face Esperance again in the second leg of the CAF Champions League quarter-finals. Kick-off takes place at 21:00 CLT.
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