Zamalek will be facing Senegalese side Teungueth in the second round of the African Champions League on Tuesday, after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) refused their request for postponement.
The Whites took off in a private jet from Cairo to Senegal late on Saturday, made a transit stop for re-fueling in Algeria, before resuming the journey. However, Mauritania refused to allow the jet to pass through its airspace due to administrative reasons, forcing the jet to return to Algeria, according Zamalek spokesperson Essam Salem.
This resulted in the Whites requesting that the CAF postpone the game for 24 hours in order to have enough time to prepare before the game, but CAF refused the request because the team arrived in the host country ahead of the game by more than 24 hours.
The White Knights need the victory, especially after they tied at home in the first round against Algeria’s MC Alger, while the Senegalese side has lost to Tunisia’s Esperance, which lead Group D with three points.
Zamalek's Football Supervisor Ashraf Kasem assured that the team is very capable of achieving victory despite the tough flight.
“Our team is ready for the Teungueth game. The players have a very high level of responsibility and can win in Tuesday’s game despite the difficult circumstances the team faced during the journey,” Kasem told Zamalek official website.
Meanwhile, Teungueth boss Youssoupha Dabo revealed that the game will not be easy despite playing at home; however, they are targeting a victory and are handling the mistakes they have committed against Esperance.
“We played a good game against Esperance, but we made some mistakes that made us lose, this is why I requested from my players to fully concentrate during the Zamalek game,” Dabo told Filgoal.
Zamalek’s Portuguese coach Jaime Pacheco has been receiving massive criticism over the poor performance of the team against MC Alger and Ismaily in the Egyptian Premier League. Zamalek has to not only get the three points, but also play good football to make it up to the fans.
Pacheco will have to play without one of Egypt’s top defenders, Mahmoud “El-Wensh” Hamdi, due to injury, while Zamalek’s squad list is as follows:
Goalkeeper: Mohamed Abo Gabal, Mahmoud “Gennesh” Abdel-Rehim, Mohamed Awwad.
Defenders: Hamza Methlouthi, Ahmed Eid, Mahmoud Alaa, Mohamed Abdel Ghani, Ahmed Fatouh, Abdallah Gomaa.
Midfielders: Ferjani Sassi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Ashraf, Eslam Gaber, Emam Ashour, Youssef “Obama” Ibrahim, Ahmed “Zizo” Sayed, Achraf Bencharki, Mahmoud “Shikabala” Abdel-Razik.
Strikers: Hamid Ahadad, Marwan Hamdi, Hossam Ashraf, Osama Faisal.