Struggling Zamalek repeat last year CAF scenario after home defeat to Algeria's Belouizdad

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 10 Feb 2023

Zamalek failed to avoid their predicament in the last edition of the CAF Champions League, losing 1-0 to Algeria’s Belouizdad in the 1st round of Group D games at Cairo International stadium on Friday.

Zamalek vs. Belouizdad (Photo: Zamalek official website)


The visitors secured the game’s three points only 10 minutes after the break when Belouizdad's Cameroonian striker Leonel Wamba scored via a penalty kick, which was granted by the Senegalese referee who blew his whistle after Zamalek defender Nabil Emad Donga suspended am Algerian kick inside the area with wide-open arms.

In the last two editions of the CAF Champions League, Zamalek paid for poor starts in the opening games of the continental competition, ending third in their four-team group and failing to book one of two qualifying tickets for the quarter-finals on both occasions.

In 2021, Zamalek opened the group stage in the CAF Champions League with a goalless draw at home to another Algerian side, MC Alger, before being held 2-2 in the next year by Petro Atletico of Angola - also at home - on their way to exiting the competition eventually.

Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira, who returned as head coach proper today, had promised two days ago to start a new era with the free falling Egyptian Premier League holders in today's game.

His players did their best to find the foes' nets but to no avail thanks to the visitors' cemented defence.

Tunisian striker Seif Jaziri was close to score a goal five minutes after the break from a kick at close range - after receiving a long pass from Ahmed Sayed inside the area - but was denied by Belouizdad goalie Alexis Guendouz.

Zamalek right-back Omar Gaber lost another close chance to score in the 80th minute after he sent a brilliant kick inside the area over the bar.

Belouizdad Nigerian striker Anayo Iwuala was close to doubling the score for the Algerian side during the injury time but failed to pile on the pain on a visibly dejected Zamalek squad.

Iwuala received a long pass from substitute midfielder Mohamed Islam Belkhir - in the absence of any Zamalek defnece - only to find himself face to face with keeper Mohamed Awad, but failed to find the net.

The White Knights, who are struggling all around on and off the pitch this season, have claimed only one win in eight games in all competitions since the start of 2023.

They lie sixth in the EPL with 29 points, 8 points behind leaders and arcrivals Ahly, who have two games in hands due to their participation in the FIFA Club World Cup.

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