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Sunday, 20 September 2020

Egypt's Zamalek remain second in Champions League group with draw in Zambia

Zamalek settle for a 1-1 draw away to Zesco United in their third group stage game of the African Champions League on Saturday

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 Dec 2019
Zamalek
Zamalek draw with Zesco in the African Champions League (Ahram)
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Egypt's Zamalek eased some of their recent woes after playing out a 1-1 draw at Zambia's Zesco United on Saturday, which kept them second in their African Champions League group.

The Cairo giants extended a winless run to four matches in all competitions but they will still be content to share spoils on the road, boosting their chances of reaching the knockout stage.

In-form striker Mostafa Mohamed, who surprisingly started on the bench, headed home against the run of play shortly after coming on to put Zamalek ahead in the 72nd minute.

However, Quadri Aladeokun Kola made the most of a defensive lapse to equalise six minutes later.

Zamalek are second in their group with four points from three games, three behind leaders TP Mazembe of the DR Congo. Zesco and Angola's Primeiro de Agosto have two points each.

The White Knights next play Zesco in Cairo, with Mazembe hosting Primeiro de Agosto in Lubumbashi.

Better chances

Zamalek had the better of the first-half's chances, going close twice.

Ferjani Sassi sent a weak shot wide when well-positioned to score after a neat one-two with Moroccan forward Achraf Bencharki and a diving free header from Mohamed Ounajem was thwarted by the keeper.

Zesco's best first-half chance came on the stroke of halftime when Jesse Were failed to properly connect with a low cross with the goal at his mercy, knocking a tame shot into the hands of keeper Mohamed Abou-Gabal.

The hosts applied relentless pressure in the early stages of the second half and were unlucky not to open the scoring on several occasions as Zamalek's defence seemed to be buckling.

Kola's half-volley on the turn was palmed away by Abou-Gabal and Were outjumped his marker to head a cross just wide.

Zamalek scored from a rare foray forward, the unmarked Mohamed heading home a cross from left-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafi at the far post.

But the lead did not last for long as a left-wing cross eluded a couple of defenders and found Kola at the back post to drill home.  

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