Friday , June 14 2024

Zamalek Clinches Second CAF Confederation Cup Title

Ahmed Hamdy’s first-half goal secured a 1-0 victory for Zamalek of Egypt against Morocco’s Renaissance Berkane on Sunday, earning them their second CAF Confederation Cup title.

The final, which ended 2-2 on aggregate, saw the Cairo club triumph on away goals in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.

Zamalek previously claimed the Confederation Cup in 2019, also against Berkane, winning on penalties after an aggregate draw.

This victory marked a historic achievement for Zamalek’s Portuguese coach, Jose Gomes, making him the first from his country to win the Confederation Cup.

For the decisive match, Zamalek made a single change from the first leg in Morocco, with Senegalese Ibrahima Ndiaye replacing Nigerian-born winger Samson Akinyoola.

Berkane fielded an unchanged lineup, featuring Burkina Faso centre-back Issoufou Dayo as captain and Senegalese Paul Bassene leading the attack.

The atmosphere at Cairo International Stadium was electric, with a sell-out crowd of 75,000 fans fervently supporting Zamalek. Their relentless pressure paid off in the 23rd minute when Ahmed ‘Zizo’ Sayed set up Hamdy, who scored with a low shot past goalkeeper Hamza Hamiani.

Trailing on away goals, Berkane responded with increased urgency. Dayo almost equalized with a header following a free kick, and Bassene and Yassine Labhiri each came close to scoring.

Zamalek ended the first half strongly, forcing Berkane into desperate defending as they struggled to deal with crosses and goal attempts.

In the second half, Berkane’s goalkeeper Hamiani nearly handed Zamalek a second goal with a hesitant clearance. Berkane’s best chance in the final minutes came from a free kick by Ayoub Khairi, which sailed over the bar.

Berkane’s hopes were further dashed in stoppage time when Hamza El Moussaoui received a red card for stamping on Zizo after a foul.

Zamalek’s determined performance and Hamdy’s crucial goal ensured their triumph in the CAF Confederation Cup, adding another prestigious title to their history.

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