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Zamalek need 'almost a miracle' to win Champions League, says coach

Ahram Online , Saturday 15 Oct 2016
Zamalek v Sundowns
Zamalek's Ayman Hefni reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the CAF Championship final football match on October 15, 2016 at Atteridgville Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa (AFP)
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Zamalek need almost a miracle to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit against Mamelodi Sundowns and win the African Champions League, coach Moemen Soliman said on Saturday.

The Cairo giants were outplayed by a vibrant Sundowns side in the first leg of the competition's final in Pretoria on Saturday, leaving them with an uphill climb if they are to win their first continental trophy since 2002.

"We were better in the first 25 minutes of the game, controlling it and wasting some chances," Soliman told the post-match news conference.

"But if win the trophy, it will almost be a miracle. I'm awaiting a response from my players," added the rookie coach, under whom Zamalek won the Egypt Cup following a 3-1 over arch rivals Ahly in August.

Anthony Laffor opened the scoring on 31 minutes after a defensive lapse and a dreadful mistake from goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawi allowed Tebogo Langerman to double the lead nine minutes later.

Zamalek barely had time to recover as an own goal by Eslam Gamal in Sundowns' first foray forward after the break left them with a daunting task in the second leg in Alexandria next week.

"You will have a difficult day in Egypt," Soliman said of Sundowns, saying his side would put in a spirited display in the second leg.

"We had a difficult day against Wydad in Morocco and Sundowns will have a more difficult day in Alexandria.

"We are in a very difficult situation but we still have another game to make amends," he added.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
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