Preview: Egypt coach-elect Galal hopes to leave Pyramids on a high

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Apr 2022

Egypt coach-elect Ehab Galal will be looking to leave Pyramids FC on a high note when they meet DR Congo giants TP Mazembe at their Lubumbashi fortress in the second leg of the African Confederation Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

Pyramids v Mazembe
Pyramids FC were held to a disappointing 0-0 home draw by Mazembe in the first leg of the African Confederation Cup quarter-final (Photo: Pyramids official Facebook page)


Fellow Egyptian side Masry will be also eager to protect their 2-1 advantage over Morocco's RS Berkane, which they gained in Alexandria following an epic display with nine men on the field.

Pyramids failed to break down Mazembe in a first-leg goalless draw in in Cairo last week, having struggled for openings.

They could not take the few chances they created to settle for the disappointing stalemate, which leaves them with no option but to hand Mazembe a rare loss at their own venue.

Galal will bid farewell to Pyramids after the match, having been recently appointed as Egypt's new boss following the departure of veteran Portuguese manager Carlos Queiroz.

"I hope to end my Pyramids stint with a victory and a place in the semi-final," the 54-year-old told the pre-match news conference.

Pyramids, who reached the Confederation Cup final in 2020 and the semis last year, are expected to face a vibrant atmosphere in Lubumbashi but Galal said he is confident his side have what it takes to book a last-four berth.

"Everyone knows how difficult it is to play at Mazembe's stadium … but I trust my players and their capabilities and I'm sure they can return to Cairo with the result that would put us through," he added.

Pyramids are boosted by the return from injury of key winger Ramadan Sobhi, who has been out of action since hurting his knee in a Confederation Cup group-stage clash against Tunisia's Sfaxien last month.

Masry will be looking to replicate their heroic first-leg display as they face a tough away clash against Berkane, who won Africa's secondary club competition in 2020.

The Port Said-based club put in a brave fight following the second-half dismissal of Amr Moussa and Tunisian midfielder Elyes Jelassi, whose compatriot Haithem Layouni scored a precious winner with a stunning long-range free kick eight minutes from time.  

In Moine Chaabani, a two-time Champions League winner with Tunisia's Esperance, Masry boast an experienced coach who they hope can lead them to their first ever continental glory.

Masry took part in the Confederation Cup for four straight years (2017-20), reaching the semi-final in 2018 and the quarters on their previous participation in 2020.

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