Zamalek, Al Ahli Tripoli in battle for quarterfinal berth

Zamalek, Al Ahli Tripoli in battle for quarterfinal berth
Zamalek player Mahmud Hamdy (L) in action against Zamalek vs USM Alger player Oussama Darfalou (R) during the African Champions League

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jul 08, 2017. 23:20

Zamalek and Al Ahli Tripoli will meet at the Petro Sport Stadium in Cairo on Sunday night with a place in the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League on the line.

Zamalek come into Matchday 6 sitting at the bottom of Group C with just five points, three adrift of co-leaders USM Alger and Tripoli, while Zimbabwe’s CAPS United are third on six points.

For the White Knights to progress they must defeat Tripoli and hope that USMA are not beaten at home by CAPS in the group’s other match in Algiers on Sunday night.

This combination of results would see the Algerians top the pool, while Zamalek and Tripoli would be level in second place on eight points apiece - the Egyptians would then advance on the head-to-head results tiebreaker.

However, if CAPS do manage a win in Algeria, then they will top the group and send the trio of North African teams into a mini-log tiebreaker involving only games played between themselves - in this scenario USMA join the Zimbabweans in the last eight.

The good news for the White Knights is that USMA have won both of their home games in the group stage, while CAPS have lost both of their matches on the road, suggesting that an upset victory is unlikely.

Al Ahli Tripoli, meanwhile, need only a draw in Cairo to secure a place in the quarterfinals, and they have already shown they are capable of matching Zamalek: the teams played to a goalless stalemate in Sfax on Matchday 2 back in May.

The other Group C match between USMA and CAPS United will held at the same time at the Stade Omar Hamadi in Algiers. Madagascar referee Hamada Nampiandraza will take charge of the game in Cairo.

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