Zamalek ease into last 16 with another win over Cameroon's Douala

Hatem Maher , Saturday 19 Mar 2016

File photo of Zamalek (Ahram)

Zamalek strolled into the African Champions League round of 16 with a 2-0 victory over Cameroon's Union Douala for a 3-0 aggregate success at Cairo's Petrosport stadium on Saturday.

The match was free of any crowd troubles after Zamalek's hardcore supporters (Ultras White Knights) reversed a decision to attend the round of 32 second-leg, saying they wanted to avoid a confrontation with police forces.

Up to 1,000 Zamalek club members were present at the stadium though amid severe restrictions on fan attendance by security officials, who snubbed many calls from die-hard football fans to lift the long-standing crowd ban.

Under-fire winger Mahmoud Kahraba opened the scoring on 26 minutes before an easy tap-in from substitute Ahmed Tawfik one minute from time ensured there would not be time for any late upsets.

Kahraba, who made an electrifying start to his Zamalek tenure following his summer arrival, has been criticised lately for some uninspiring displays which cost him a place in Egypt's squad for the crucial double header against Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.

But he made the most of his undoubted talent against Douala, combining with 30-year-old winger Shikabala on several occasions to slice open the visitors' defence.

One of those moves resulted in a 26th-minute opener, with Kahraba ghosting behind the defence to latch onto a threaded pass from Shikabala, swivel and volley home from just inside the area.

Douala were restricted to some tame long-range shots while Zamalek hardly created further goal-scoring chances, apart from a deflected effort from Zambian striker Emmanuel Mayuka which hit the woodwork on the hour mark.

Nigerian midfielder Maarouf Yussuf went close with an angled low shot before defensive midfielder Tawfik drilled home on the rebound after a shot from fellow substitute Bassem Morsi was parried into his path.

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