Preview: Egypt's Ismaily anticipate first Champions League appearance in 8 years

Ahram Online , Tuesday 27 Nov 2018

File photo of Ismaily (the club's official website)

Reeling in the Egyptian Premier League, Ismaily will be seeking to make amends in the Champions League as they make their first appearance in Africa's flagship competition in eight years on Wednesday.

One-time champions Ismaily face Burundi's Le Messager away from home in the first leg of the competition's preliminary round, with their fans eagerly awaiting any victory after a run of three consecutive defeats in the domestic competition.

Ismaily were the first Egyptian team to win the prestigious African title when they lifted the trophy in 1969. They also went close in 2003 but lost to Nigeria's Enyimba in the final.

"All the players are focused to return to winning ways," Ismaily's assistant coach Ahmed Qenawi said.

"The most difficult thing about the game is the artificial turf but we've conducted some training sessions on it since we arrived to get used to it."

Ismaily's coach Jorvan Vieira is also under pressure to deliver after recent reports suggested that he was about to be sacked, although he only took charge last month following the departure of Algerian Kheireddine Madoui.

The Dervishes last took part in the Champions League in 2010, when they finished third in their group behind Algeria's JS Kabylie and Egyptian rivals Ahly.

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