File photo of Zamalek's Congolese striker Kabongo Kasongo (Ahram)
Congolese striker Kabongo Kasongo, under fire recently for a number of below-par displays, scored the decisive away goal as Egypt's Zamalek reached the last 16 of the Zayed Champions Cup following a 1-1 draw at Kuwait's Qadsia on Friday.
Kasongo came off the bench to notch home with eight minutes remaining, leaving the hosts needing two goals to overturn the deficit and advance following a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Cairo.
Ahmed Al-Reyahi scored for Qadsia deep in stoppage time but it was too little, too late with Zamalek progressing on the away-goal rule to become the fourth Egyptian side to book a last-16 berth at the main Arab club tournament after Cairo rivals Ahly, Ittihad of Alexandria and Ismaily.
Zamalek had the upper hand for most of the game but were largely wastefulness, with striker Omar El-Said unable to prove his worth after making a rare appearance, with Swiss coach Christian Gross given him the nod ahead of Kasongo.
El-Said mis-hit his shot when played clean through early on and had a superb flick denied by the post after the break.
Despite Zamalek's dominance, they could have been caught on the break when Qadsia's Cameroonian striker Ronald Wanja hit the upright with a fine header in the second half.
Kasongo replaced the disappointing El-Said and made the difference on 82 minutes, side-footing home an inviting low cross from Tunisian right-back Hamdi Nagguez, who was Zamalek's best performer of the night, from close range.
Al-Reyahi capitalised on a defensive lapse to drill a shot home from inside the area at the death but Zamalek held on to advance. The Egyptian giants finished with ten men after forward Youssef Ibrahim was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
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