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Preview: Egypt’s Masry wary of Simba roar in Confederation Cup

Ahram Online , Friday 16 Mar 2018
Masry v Simba
Masry winger Eslam Issa controls the ball during his side's 2-2 draw with Simba in the first leg of the African Confederation Cup round of 32 (Photo: Ahram)
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Egypt’s Masry are taking nothing for granted despite a 2-2 first-leg draw at Simba as they host the Tanzanians in the return leg of the African Confederation Cup round of 32 on Saturday.

In an exciting affair on 7 March, Masry fell behind to an early goal before scoring twice to go 2-1 up, only for the hosts to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the next round by striking a late equalizer.

Masry were still content with the 2-2 draw as they were forced to play on a waterlogged pitch, with torrential rain forcing a 30-minute stoppage in the latter stages.

The Port Said-based club, who are chasing a second-place finish in the Egyptian league to earn an African Champions League qualification, have an advantage of scoring two away goals but coach Hossam Hassan, Egypt’s all-time leading scorer, remains cautious.

“We have not qualified yet; there is another game in Port Said,” the bald-headed boss said following the first-leg draw.

“We will have to be very cautious because Simba are a good attacking team who boast a very strong coach in (Frenchman) Pierre Lechantre, who has vast experience in African football.”

The first-leg marked the first time Masry do not lose on the road in African competitions under the stewardship of Hassan, who is lauded for turning around their fortunes since taking charge of the club for a second spell in 2015.

Masry will be once again boosted by home support at their Port Said stadium, which has just recently opened after a six-year closure following the 2012 tragedy that saw over 70 Ahly fans die at the venue following an end of an ill-tempered league match.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
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