Preview: Pyramids FC hoping it's third time lucky against Morocco's Raja

Ahram Online , Saturday 19 Jun 2021

Pyramids are looking to reach the African Confederation final for the second straight season

Pyramids FC v Raja
Pyramids lost to Raja twice in the group stage (Photo:

Egypt's Pyramids FC will be hoping it's third time lucky as they host Moroccan side Raja in the first leg of the African Confederation semi-final on Sunday after twice losing to them in the group stage.

Pyramids were outplayed by Raja in their two Group D encounters in April, with the Casablanca side defeating them 2-0 at home and 3-0 in Cairo.

The Egyptian big-spending club eventually joined Raja in the knockout stage but they now need to lay their ghosts to rest if they are to reach the final for a second straight year, having lost to Morocco's RS Berkane last season.

"We weren't at our best in the group-stage games," Pyramids skipper and Egypt's veteran playmaker Abdallah El-Said told the pre-match news conference.

"Regardless of our desire to make up for those losses, our main objective is to reach the final."

Pyramids are still stuttering in the domestic league, continuing an inconsistent run with an embarrassing 3-0 defeat by Alexandria-based club Smouha last week, which came following another 4-2 loss to promoted Ceramica Cleopatra.

They dropped to ninth in the table with 34 points, six adrift of the top four. They still have four matches in hand.

"Injuries, fatigue and coronavirus infections heavily affected us recently," Pyramids' Argentinean coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena said.

"I hope we will be fully focused on the task ahead of us to advance to the final."

Pyramids have all their key players available for the crunch showdown with Raja.

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