Africain foresees they will overcome Zamalek's weak defense

Hatem Maher , Thursday 31 Mar 2011

Tunisia’s Club Africain bets on their top-notch form to take advantage of Zamalek’s defensive fragility in upcoming Cairo match to pave the way to the Champions League round of 16

Africain V Zamalek

Club Africain said they were looking to expose Zamalek’s defensive lapses once again to book a place among the last 16 in the CAF Champions League.

The Tunisian outfit punished Cairo’s Zamalek for some woeful defending to secure a 4-2 first-leg victory in a thrilling clash in the Champions League round of 32 earlier this month.

They will be favourites to go on when they visit five-time African champions, Zamalek, in the second leg in Cairo on Saturday.

“We are looking for an away victory,” Africain striker Youssef Mouihbi, who scored in his side’s first-leg win over Zamalek, told a news conference on Wednesday.

“Zamalek will naturally push forward to overturn the deficit and they will consequently leave gaps in the back, which we are looking to expose.”

“Our opponents are strong and boast many good players but Africain are enjoying a fine run of form. We are capable of snatching a goal; we will not be intimated by pressure from the home crowd.”

Mouhibi put Africain 3-2 up early in the first-leg’s second half when he was found unmarked after a seemingly innocuous free kick evaded a host of defenders and fell kindly for him to notch home from close range.

Recurring defensive blunders helped Africain add a fourth goal late in the game to leave Zamalek with a steep uphill climb in the return leg.

Reports said Zamalek coach Hossam Hassan would reshuffle his defence to avoid a repeat of what local media branded a “disastrous performance” in Tunisia.

The White Knights won the last elite Africa’s club competition in 2002 when they had Hassan, a former prolific striker, spearhead their attack.

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