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Thursday, 13 December 2018

Zamalek slump to surprise loss as Ethiopia's Dicha take first-leg advantage

Hatem Maher , Wednesday 7 Mar 2018
A still image from television during Zamalek's African Confederation Cup game against Dicha
Views: 2625
Views: 2625

Egypt's Zamalek suffered a stunning defeat on their opening African Confederation Cup game, falling 2-1 at Ethiopia's Wolaitta Dicha after conceding a late goal in the first-leg of the competition's round of 32 on Wednesday.

A sublime volley from Bezabeh Meleyo gave Dicha an early lead but Zamalek winger Emad Fathi pounced on a defensive mistake to level the score seven minutes before the break.

Yared Dawit scored a precious winner for Dicha after finishing off a breakaway with 12 minutes remaining to give the hosts a famous win over five-time Champions League winners Zamalek.

The Cairo giants still have a good chance to progress when they host Dicha in the second leg in Suez on 18 March.  

Both sides struggled to create openings on a bumpy pitch in Hawassa, some 270 kilometers south of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Dicha caught Zamalek by surprise to send the home fans into raptures after 17 minutes.

Meleyo met a pass inside the area with a superb flick before sending a sumptuous volley past the despairing dive of Zamalek keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi.

Zamalek struggled for possession due to the condition of the pitch, which resembled a farmer’s plowed field than a football playing surface.

However, they were still lucky to restore parity in the 37th minute when a terrible back pass from Teklu Tafesse was intercepted by Fathi, who rounded the keeper to slot into an empty net.

A dull second half only sprung to life in the last 12 minutes when Zamalek wasted a golden chance to go ahead before being immediately punished for the miss.

Central defender Mahmoud Alaa chested a long ball with his back to goal, turned and hit an overhead kick which went over the bar before Dicha launched a fast-paced counter attack at the other end.

Dawit was played into acres of space on the right hand side of the penalty area to find the bottom corner with a fine shot, condemning Zamalek to a surprise defeat.

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