USM Alger player Darfalou Oussama (L) fights for the ball with Zamalek Maroof Yusuf (R) during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between USM Alger and Zamalek at Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers, Algeria on 21 June 2017 © BackpagePix
Thursday Jul 13, 2017. 10:00
Zamalek must put their CAF Champions League exit behind them when they face El Geish in an Egyptian Cup tie tonight, according to Nigerian midfielder Maroof Youssef.
The White Knights will face El Geish in the quarterfinals on Thursday evening, having crashed out of the premier continental competition last weekend when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Libya’s Al Ahli Tripoli.
"El Geish have a good team. They've got a lot of expectation levels at that club now, so it's going to be a hard game,” Youssef told Allnigeriasocceer.
“It's quite an even tie, it's going to be two very good teams going at it. So it'll be tough.”
Zamalek will be looking to join one of Misr El Maqassa or Smouha, as well as Al Masry and hated rivals Al Ahly in the semifinals.
"It is a massive and glamorous fixture. The significance and passion is reflected in the game. We have one objective, which is to win on Thursday,” added the Nigerian.
“My teammates are aware of the task that lies ahead of them.”
Youssef continued, "We know that we can't afford to let down our fans, that's the aim for us.
“The key will be to be solid but positive at the same time – go there to try and win the game, but at the same time be solid.
“Defensively as a unit [we have to] try and be the way we have been most of the season, which is very good.
“I'm sure they'll find it hard as well, but it's an even tie – two good teams looking to push.”