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Friday, 30 July 2021

Zamalek happy with CAF Cup success, focus on league

Zamalek are sitting in first place in the domestic league, looking to win their first title since 2004

Eslam Omar , Monday 8 Jun 2015
Zamalek players
Zamalek players (Photo: Reuters)

Zamalek manager Jesualdo Ferreira praised his team after they eased up into the group stage of the African Confederation Cup with a 3-1 home win over DR Congo's Sanga Balende on Sunday.

"I am happy with the victory and I thank the team for their spirit and the management for their support," the 69-year-old tactician told the club's official website.

He added that players learned a lesson from the goalless draw in the first half of the match, stressing that "they will need to focus more on the first legs after they wasted many chances.”

The team's skipper Hazem Emam echoed his coach's analysis, saying he tried to calm down his teammates' in the first half.

"I demanded players focus, keep calm and not be intimidated by the opponents' provocations to accomplish the target of the game," Emam expressed.

"The qualifier should have been won in DR Congo but the bad refereeing was to blame," Ferreira added, referring to the controversial 1-0 defeat in the first leg.

Assistant coach Ismail Yussif has promised "the loyal fans" a more competitive performance in all championships.

"Now we are closing the continental file to focus on the league," Yussif revealed.

Zamalek are closing in on winning their first Egyptian Premier League since 2004 as they lead the table with 70 points, nine ahead of title-holders Ahly.

Zamalek will play in the African Confederation Cup in the same group as Tunisia's Sfaxien, South Africa's Orlando Pirates and AC Leopards of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Their archrivals Ahly, who eliminated Tunisia's Club Africain also Sunday, were drawn in the group that includes Stade Malien of Mali and Tunisian duo Esperance and Etoile Sahel.

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