Zamalek coach Carteron blames fatigue after Petro Atletico draw in CAF Champions League

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 13 Feb 2022

Zamalek’s French coach Patrice Carteron has promised the team’s supporters to return to winning ways, blaming the players’ fatigue after the 2-2 draw with Angola’s Petro Atletico in CAF Champions League group stage on Saturday.

Zamalek coach Carteron

The Cairo based club wasted a flurry of goal-scoring chances but avoided a rare home defeat in the African Champions League with a goal deep in stoppage time to salvage a 2-2 draw with Angola's Petro Atletico in their opening group-stage game on Saturday.

“I was worried about the game after the late return of the international players as the team was affected in the first half by the absence of the international players for a time,” Carteron told a post-game press conference.

The Whites recently welcomed back their international players after their participation in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations that took place in Cameroon as Egypt national team finished runners-up in the continental tournament.

With participation of more than a dozen Zamalek key players, Egypt played seven games in the AFCON 2021 including four games finished after extra-time.

“The coaching staff will do their best to help the players recover from fatigue they suffered due to national team commitments,” the 51-year-old coach added.

Zamalek’s coming game in the CAF Champions League will be against Sagrada Esperanca of Angola in the 2nd round of Group D games away from home on Saturday.  

Morocco's Wydad top Group D with three points after crushing Angola's Sagrada Esperanca 3-0 on Friday, with Zamalek and Atletico gaining one point each.

“It’s difficult to predict which teams will qualify after only one game. We can only do this after playing at least three games, especially with Zamalek being able to win the away games,” Carteron said.

Zamalek are scheduled to face Smouha in the 9th matchday of the Egyptian Premier League on Tuesday.

“The team will hold a closed camp within preparations for the coming league game,” the French coach concluded.

Zamalek are second in the Egyptian Premier League table with 19 points, sharing the same points with their arch-rivals and leaders Ahly who played a game less.

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