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Tuesday, 03 August 2021

Carteron 'proud' as Zamalek down Tunisia's Esperance in style

Ahram Online , Friday 14 Feb 2020
Soccer Football - African Super Cup Final - Esperance Sportive de Tunis v Zamalek - Thani bin Jassim Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - February 14, 2020 Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron reacts REUTERS

Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron said he was utterly proud as the team displayed an attractive brand of counter-attacking football to beat Tunisia's Esperance 3-1 in the African Super Cup on Friday.

In the annual one-off game, which was played in Qatar, Forward Youssef Ibrahim gave Confederation Cup winners Zamalek a dream start with a second-minute opener but Abdelraouf Benguit brought Esperance level from the penalty spot early in the second half following a VAR review.

Despite the equaliser, Zamalek proved ruthless on the break to down the African Champions League holders, thanks to a mesmerizing performance from Moroccan winger Achraf Bencharki.

He restored the Cairo giants' lead just before the hour-mark following a brilliant solo effort before putting the game to bed with a stoppage-time goal after finishing off a sweeping breakaway.

Carteron, who also led Morocco's Raja to last season's African Super Cup title following a win over Esperance, said he was elated at overcoming the 2018 and 2019 Champions League winners again.

"We are very proud; it's not easy to beat a team that won the Champions League for two consecutive years," the Frenchman told beIN Sports after the game.

"They are a very strong team but we produced an exceptional performance and could have scored more goals in the first half.

"We remained calm after the equaliser and had confidence in ourselves."

The much-needed victory will boost the morale of a Zamalek side who are facing some crucial games this month, including another mouthwatering two-legged clash against Esperance in the Champions League quarters.

They will also meet Cairo rivals Ahly in the Egyptian Super Cup on 20 February and in the domestic league four days later.

The White Knights took their tally to four African Super Cup triumphs, two behind record winners Ahly. Their previous win came 17 years ago when they defeated Moroccan side Wydad 3-1 in Cairo.

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