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Egyptian football roundup: Al-Zamalek fall behind after loss to Mazembe


Al-Ahly lead group in Confederation Cup, Premier League enters crucial stage

Al-Ahly were held to a 1-1 draw by Ivorian side Sewe Sport in their third Group B match  (Photo from CAFonline.com)

Al-Ahly were held to a 1-1 draw by Ivorian side Sewe Sport in their third Group B match
(Photo from CAFonline.com)

Cairo giant Al-Zamalek faced a 1-0 loss to the TP Mazembe on Sunday, leaving the White Knights in the bottom of group A of the CAF Champions League.

Mazembe striker Kalaba scored the sole goal of the match in the 13th minute, after Al-Zamalek defender Mohamed Abdel Shafy failed to stop Solomon Asante giving the assist. The Congolese team was in control most of the match, with Al-Zamalek unable to seriously test goalkeeper Muteba Kidiaba.

After the match, Al-Zamalek players and coach Ahmed ‘Mido’ Hossam directed their frustration toward the referee, whom some of them insinuated may have been bribed. Al-Zamalek president Mortada Mansour said to suspend several players over these bribe gestures, but he withdraw this claim Tuesday, saying they would only be fined.

The Congolese team leads group A with six points, followed by AS Vita and Al Hilal with four points. Al-Zamalek, last with three points, is in dire need to win the home game against Mazembe on 27 July.

In the CAF Confederations Cup, Al-Ahly are leading group B after a 1-1 draw against Sewe Sport on Sunday, leaving number two Etoile du Sahel behind on goal difference. Sewe Sport follow with three points, while Nkana is last with 1 point.

While the Ivorian team started stronger, Moussa Yedan scored the opening goal for Al-Ahly in the 44th minute. In the second half Akfori equalised for the Ivorian team. In the final minutes both teams were close to a winner, as goalkeeper Sherif Ekrami saved Al-Ahly and forward Gamal saw his header cleared from the line.

Over the coming days the Egyptian Premier League enters a crucial stage as the final group matches are played. Al-Zamalek need a win over group B leader Ittihad El-Shorta on Saturday to qualify for the mini-league which will decide this season’s champion. For El-Shorta, a draw would secure qualification.

Al-Ahly, leading group A, need one more win in the final two matches on Thursday and Monday to secure a place in the mini-league. Smouha and Petrojet, both second in their groups, are in a good position to make it to the all-decisive mini-league.

In a friendly in London on 4 June, the Egypt national team played a draw against Jamaica, drawing 2-2. Mohamed Elneny opened the score for the Pharaohs, but before the half-way break Jamaica turned the score in their advantage.

Bassem Morsi scored the equaliser in the 72nd minute, saving Egypt from a second loss in a row after their loss to Chile. The Pharaohs started with an experimental squad, as several key players of Al-Ahly and Al-Zamalek were absent.

Following last weeks results, the Pharaohs dropped 12 places on the FIFA world ranking, now standing 36th.

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