Five-time African champions Zamalek of Egypt are facing a tricky mission when they play hosts to Senegalese champions Generation Foot on Thursday (24 October 2019), in the second leg of 2019-20 Total CAF Champions League first round, at Cairo-based Al Salam Stadium.
Against all odds, Zamalek conceded a 2-1 defeat in Thies last month. Mame Gueye scored in each half to give Senegal’s academy club a 2-0 lead and put the Egyptian giants in a tough situation, but substitute Mostafa Mohamed scored what might be a vital away goal for the White Knights fifteen minutes from time to leave things open.
The return leg was scheduled for 28 September, but some unfortunate events led to the encounter being called off. Following a meeting by the CAF Organizing Committee for Interclub Competitions and Club Licensing System in Cairo on 8 October, the match was rescheduled for Thursday, 24 October 2019 in Cairo at 20:00 local time.
Zamalek coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic is banking on his two decades of African experience in his overturn the results and land the Whites Knights a place at the group stage of the Total CAF Champions League. The Serbian who has had spells with the likes of SC Villa (Uganda), Saint George (Ethiopia), Young Africans (Tanzania), Al Hilal (Sudan), Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates (both South Africa) and in between stints with Rwanda and Uganda national teams, is desperate for continental glory with the Cairo giants , whose last of five CAF Champions League titles date back to 2002.
Micho will once again rely on the experience of the Tunisian duo of Ferjani Sassi and Hamdi Naguez, and the brilliance of the Egypt U-23 international Mostafa Mohamed who scored the crucial away goal in the first leg.
Mohamed ,who turns 22 next month has scored four goals in three games this term, and is gradually warming himself to the Zamalek faithful.
The aggregate winner will be placed in Group A besides DR Congo giants TP Mazembe, Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto and Zambia’s ZESCO United. While the loser will qualify to the second additional preliminary round of the Total CAF Confederation Cup, where they face Beninois torchbearers ESAE, with the first leg to be played on 30 October 2019 and the second leg on 5 November 2019.