Etoile du Sahel were unable to turn around their CAF Confederation Cup semifinal tie, as they were held 0-0 at the Olympic Stadium in Sousse by Zamalek on Sunday evening.
The result sees the White Knights advance 1-0 on aggregate and set up a final with Morocco’s RS Berkane, who upset CS Sfaxien of Tunisia in their semifinal clash earlier in the day.
Etoile dominated possession from early on but struggled to create clear chances with which to test Zamalek goalkeeper Mahmoud Elrehim.
In fact, the Egyptian side looked more dangerous whenever they broke forward on the counter attack and they had the best chance of the first half.
On 21 minutes a slick move down the left teed up a chance for Youssef Obama, who completely fluffed his attempt, while a follow-up long-range effort from Mahmoud Hussein was palmed away by Etoile ‘keeper Makram Bdiri.
The hosts’ most notable effort of the first half arrived in the dying minutes before the break, when a melee at a corner kick saw Zamalek defender Abdallah Gomaa forced to clear off his own goal line.
Etoile had another great chance early in the second stanza when a free kick from Maher Hannachi picked out Iheb Msakni in the penalty area, but the forward sent his header just wide of the target.
Missing chances proved to be a pattern for ESS, while even when they did manage to steer an effort beyond Elrehim, as Yassine Chikhaoui did in the 80th minute, Mahmoud Hamdi was on hand to make another clearance.
There was drama in injury time when White Knights goalkeeper Elrehim picked up a second yellow card and was sent off. With the Egyptian side having used all three subs, striker Omar Elsaid put on the gloves but was left untested by the hosts.
The final between Berkane and Zamalek is set to be played on the Sundays of May 19 and 26.
Etoile du Sahel 0
Zamalek won 1-0 on aggregate
Etoile: Bdiri, Aziza, Konate, Kechrida, Msakni, Boughattas, Chikhaoui, Hannachi (Ben Arbi 89’), Beaoui (El Mathnani 21’), Hassen (Mendoza 66’), Aouadhi
Zamalek: Elrehim, Hamed, Alaaeldin, Elsaid, Obama (Zizo 76’), Kahraba (Ibrahim 56’), Nagguez, Hussein, Hassan (Abdelghany 90+3’), Gomaa, Hamdy