Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron (Photo: Reuters)
Friday's goalless draw against TP Mazembe in the African Champions League was a frustrating result for Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron, who insisted that he isn't considering a change of playing style despite the recent goal drought.
The Whites failed to beat DR Congo giants and fellow five-time winners TP Mazembe in Cairo in the fifth round of the group stage, although they remain in pole position to reach the knockout phase.
"I am frustrated about the match result. We failed to score despite dominating the ball and reaching the goal in many occasions," the French coach said at the press conference after the match.
"The team is in a good shape at the physical level. We achieved good results recently. If we managed to score in the first half against Mazembe no one would have talked about the necessity of appointing a strength and conditioning coach," he added.
Zamalek could not avenge a bitter 3-0 defeat by already-qualified Mazembe in Lubumbashi in their opening Group A encounter.
The Cairo giants were largely affected by the absence of Moroccan forward Achraf Bencharki, who was injured in the warm-up.
"Bencharki is a very important player, but substitute Ahmed Sayed Zizo delivered an outstanding performance throughout the whole match," Carteron explained.
"Playing with a sole striker upfront is more appropriate for Zamalek players. The recent goal drought doesn't mean that we need to change our playing strategy," he added.
After Friday's draw, Mazembe now top the group with 11 points with one match remaining, three ahead of Zamalek. Angola's Primeiro de Agosto and Zambia's Zesco United, who meet in the other group game on Saturday, have two points each.
"Now we lost the chance to qualify as the group leaders. We are awaiting the result of Zesco and Primeiro de Agosto to know if we need to fight in the remaining match to secure our qualification," the Zamalek coach concluded.
Should Primeiro de Agosto fail to beat Zesco away from home, Zamalek will secure passage to the last eight before meeting the Angolans in their final match, given their better head-to-head record over Zesco.
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