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Zamalek secure comfortable 4-1 CL lead over Nigeria's Rangers

Zamalek attackers Stanley Ohawuchi, Hossam Salama, Ayman Hefni and Mostafa Fathi were all on the score sheet as Zamalek head into the return leg on March 17 with a comfortable lead

Omar Zaazou , Sunday 12 Mar 2017
Zamalek
Zamalek players celebrate Stanley Ohawuchi's opener in the 4-1 Champions League round of 32 first-leg victory over Enugu Rangers on Sunday (Photo Al-Ahram)
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Champions League runners-up Zamalek claimed a comfortable 4-1 victory over Nigeria's Enugu Rangers in the competition's round of 32 first-leg at Cairo's El-Salam Stadium on Sunday.

Totally outclassing their opponents in the first half, the Cairo giants went into the dressing rooms three goals ahead, courtesy of an early Stanley Ohawuchi header and goals from fellow attackers Hossam Salama and Ayman Hefni.

Mostafa Fathi added a fourth from the spot nine minutes after the break before forward Bobby Clement grabbed a lifeline for the visiting side in the final minutes of the game.

Five-time Champions League holders Zamalek visit the Nigerian league holders for the return leg on March 17.

One-sided affair  

Zamalek signaled their intent to score early on, piling up immense pressure from the opening stages in search of the opener.

And it was not late till they broke the deadlock through Ohawuchi who headed in Osama Ibrahim's corner kick from the right past the keeper in the eighth minute.

With flamboyant playmakers Ayman Hefni and Mostafa Fathi looking red-hot from the outset, it was the former who set up Salama with a brilliant through pass after a Rangers center-back failed to intercept the ball to allow the Zamalek striker through on goal and notch his side's second.

But it was not the end of the Whites goals in the first half, with Hefni this time turning from provider to scorer with a delightful chip away from the keeper following Mohamed Ibrahim's brilliant through ball into the box.   

The second half did not bring an entirely different affair, with Ohawuchi almost bagging his side's fourth of the night before being denied by the keeper just one minute after the break.

Ohawuchi, who started on the left of Mohamed Helmi's favored 4-2-3-1 format, was at the center of Zamalek's fourth of the night, winning the penalty that Fathi coolly converted in the 53rd minute.

From thereon, Zamalek looked to have rested on their laurels and it wasn't long till Egypt keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi was called into action for the first time when he tipped over a header four minutes later.

With Zamalek easing off, substitute Bassem Morsi could have easily added a fifth for his side when he failed to connect with a low cross across the six yards 11 minutes from time.

The visitors then grabbed a lifeline with six minutes left after a free kick hit the Zamalek wall before bouncing towards Clement who volleyed the ball past keeper El-Shennawi at the near post. 

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