Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fit-again Mido helps unimpressive Zamalek go through

A first-half Mido header was enough for Zamalek to labor to a 1-0 win over Tanzania’s Young Africans and secure a place in the CAF Champions League round of 32.

The Whites, who registered a 1-1 draw in the first leg, go through with a 2-1 aggregate victory, in a match that saw the visitors play with a man down for almost half an hour.

Midfielder Athuman Idd was dismissed in the 63rd minute for a professional foul against Benin striker Razak Omotoyossi, before substitute Ahmed Hassan missed a penalty for Zamalek.

Hassan Shehata’s team will meet the winner from the match between Ivorian giants Africa Sports and Missile of Gabon.

Dull match

The game was staged behind closed doors as Zamalek were serving a ban imposed by CAF for the infamous pitch invasion of their fans in last year’s round of 32 return leg against Tunisia’s Club Africain.

It was the visitors who first showed goal menace when keeper Abdul-Wahed Al-Sayed was forced to tip a freekick over, before a clear-on-goal Omotoyossi blasted wide a fine Shikabala chip pass in return.

Zamalek’s second attempt was successful though as Mido, who was guilty of needlessly falling in the offside trap several times, earned his side the lead when he headed home Alexis Mendomo’s pin-point cross one minute past the half hour mark.

The second half was hardly better than the first as Zamalek were not able to capitalize on their numerical advantage following the 63rd minute red card of Idd.

Wing-back Hazem Emam, who was introduced instead of the out-of-form Shikabala, burst inside the area before being tripped by an opponent, giving fellow sub Hassan the chance to double the lead.

But the veteran midfielder, back from international duty after confirming his record as the most-capped player of all time, was unlucky to see his shot rattle the bar, shortly after squandering an easy header with the goal at his mercy.

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