Preview: Zamalek target comfortable first-leg lead over Dreams in Confederation Cup

Ahram Online , Saturday 20 Apr 2024

Egyptian powerhouse Zamalek will take on Dreams FC of Ghana in the CAF Confederation Cup semifinal first leg on Sunday at the Cairo International Stadium, aiming for a commanding home victory to ease their passage to the final.



The White Knights, buoyed by a recent 2-1 win over arch-rivals Ahly in the Cairo derby, are determined to secure a significant advantage before the return leg.

Zamalek booked their place in the last four with a 3-2 aggregate win against fellow Egyptian club Modern Future FC in the quarterfinals.

The North African giants are now aiming for their second Confederation Cup title, having previously lifted the trophy in 2019.

However, Zamalek's quest will be hampered by the absence of key winter signings Nasser Maher, Abdallah El-Said, and Seif Farouk Gaafar, as they are ineligible to participate in the African Confederation Cup due to their previous involvement with their former teams in ongoing CAF tournaments.

Additionally, veteran defender Omar Gaber will miss the encounter due to an adductor muscle injury he sustained during the Cairo derby.

Moreover, talented winger Ahmed "Zizo" Sayed, who sustained an ankle injury during the Cairo derby, will also be unavailable.

Meanwhile, Dreams progressed to the semifinals after a thrilling 3-2 aggregate victory over Mali's Stade Malien in the quarters.

The Ghanaian side are determined to make history by winning the Confederation Cup for the first time since the club's establishment in 2009.

They have surpassed expectations with a remarkable campaign, defeating some of Africa's top clubs, including Rivers United, FC Kallon, and Club Africain.

Making their debut in any continental competition, Dreams FC has become the first Ghanaian club since Hearts and Asante Kotoko in 2004 to reach the semifinals of this prestigious tournament.

The team will rely heavily on John Antwi, who scored a brace in the away leg against Stade Malien in the previous round, as they aim to overcome Zamalek's formidable challenge.

The return leg is scheduled to take place at Baba Yara Sports Stadium one week later, with the winner advancing to face either Algeria's USM Alger or RS Berkane of Morocco in the final.

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