Preview: Egypt’s Zamalek seek to overcome Confed Cup nerves against Ghana’s Dreams FC

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 27 Apr 2024

Egyptian powerhouse Zamalek will be determined to avoid any nervousness that could prove costly in the African Confederation Cup semifinal as they face Ghana's Dreams FC in the second leg on Sunday.



Zamalek had expected a smooth progression to the second leg after holding Dreams FC to a goalless draw in the away fixture. However, they were put under pressure in the return leg.

In the first-leg game in Cairo, Zamalek squandered several clear goal-scoring opportunities, leaving them with no choice but to prevent a loss in Ghana to secure a spot in the competition's final.

This time, they will be eager to assert their dominance against the Ghanaian side, which is anticipated to leverage the home advantage to secure a place in the secondary continental tournament.

“All the players are well aware of the importance of this game as we are highly motivated to secure qualification to the Confederation Cup final. The entire team is focused on our target of pleasing the supporters." Zamalek Football Director Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed was quoted on Zamalek's official website.

The Whites' squad will receive a boost with the return of left-back Ahmed Fattouh, right-back Omar Gaber, and winger Ahmed 'Zizo' Sayed, who have recovered from their injuries. However, Zamalek's star player Mahmoud 'Shikabala' Abdel-Razek was ruled out of the game due to a muscle injury sustained during training in Ghana.

Zamalek's Portuguese coach Jose Gomes acknowledged the challenges they will face in the second leg, including the heat, humidity, and the condition of the Ghanaian pitches.

Nonetheless, he expressed unwavering confidence in his players and their abilities.

"We missed the target many times in Cairo, but we can score in Ghana," said Gomes after the first-leg game.

He stressed the need for complete concentration in the crucial upcoming match, concluding: "I know we are in for a tough clash in Ghana, but I have faith in my players and their capabilities."

Meanwhile, Dreams FC coach Karim Zito revealed on Friday that he is diligently preparing his players for a potential penalty shootout against Zamalek.

"In our last penalty shootouts, only three out of twenty-four players failed to score, so we are ready if it comes down to penalties," Zito stated during an interview with Kumasi-based Akoma FM.

He added: "However, we are hoping to secure qualification in regulation time on Sunday."

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