Zanaco, Al Ahly set for potential Group D decider

Zanaco, Al Ahly set for potential Group D decider
Al-Ahly player Ahmed Fathy (L) in action against Zanco player Augustine Mulenga (R) during the African Champions League (CAF)

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jul 01, 2017. 11:00

Zanaco will host Al Ahly in a potential Group D decider in the CAF Champions League this Saturday afternoon.

The teams will meet at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, kick-off at 15h00 CAT.

The Zambian side comes into the match in a great position, leading the pool by three points over their Egyptian opponents, with Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca just a point further back.

‘The Bankers’ are the only unbeaten side in the pool and a win over Ahly will put them through to the last eight as group winners, with a game to spare.

In fact, even a loss may be enough for Zanaco to progress, but only if Coton Sport (who have lost all four matches thus far) defeat Wydad in the other Group D match this weekend.

But rather than rely on results elsewhere, coach Mumamba Numba wants his side to beat the ‘Red Devils’, explaining that their win away to Coton Sport in the previous round has set them up perfectly to end the group stage on a high.

“This is a good result for us. The win has motivated us ahead of the next two remaining games in the competition. From the beginning, we knew that we would reach this far in the competition because we have young good players that are able to withstand any challenge,” said Numba.

“We are not going to limit ourselves in this competition. We have very good players. We will take each game as it comes,” added captain Ziyo Tembo.

As for Ahly, a 2-0 loss away to Wydad last time out has put them in real danger of missing out on the quarters and they must get a positive result in Lusaka.

"We still have two difficult matches and anything is possible now in our group," said Ahly coach Hossam El Badry, who blamed poor refereeing and his own team’s defensive errors for the loss in Casablanca.

Yet if Ahly win this weekend and the other group match produces Coton’s first win, then they will go to the top of group and both they and Zanaco will secure a place in the quarters.

The game in Lusaka will be referee by Mauritanian official Ali Lemghaifry.

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