Tusker looking to upset Zamalek in CAFCL

Tusker looking to upset Zamalek in CAFCL

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 14, 2021. 16:00

Kenyan champions Tusker have stated their belief that they can upset Egyptian heavyweights Zamalek when the teams meet in the CAF Champions League this weekend.

The Brewers will host the White Knights in Nairobi on Saturday afternoon for the first leg of the teams’ second round qualifying tie.

Tusker earned their spot in the final 32 thanks to a 4-1 aggregate win over Djiboutien side Arta Solar 7, while Zamalek, as one of the top performing teams in continental club competition, were given a bye through the previous round.

Yet the current Egyptian champions do not have good memories of their last trip to Kenya, suffering a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Gor Mahia in a CAF Confederation Cup group stage match back in early 2019.

Tusker coach Robert Matano is hoping his team can follow in Gor Mahia’s footsteps and put themselves in line for a first-ever qualification to the group stage of the Champions League.

“We are building up the momentum well and are looking to work even more as the days progress,” said Matano, as quoted by Capital FM.

“The spirit is there and everyone is willing to perform and work hard. We are looking forward to a good performance on Saturday.”

The international break has been both beneficial and bothersome for the Brewers, taking them out of competition stride but also allowing them to have rest and recovery for injured players.

“In terms of [match] fitness, we have lost a bit but tried to regain that with two friendly matches which we won,” said Matano.

“But it has also been positive because we have had time to rest and recover, especially with the players who were injured.

“Now we are getting into the final [days] of training and joined by players who were out on international duty. We look forward to working even better together.”

Midfielder Humphrey Mieno is also optimistic ahead of the clash with the Egyptian side: “The morale is pretty high and the lads are working as a team. We know the task ahead of us and we need to focus on getting maximum points at home.

“We have had two weeks without a match and this has been very important to get time to concentrate on the game as well as getting the injured players back,” he concluded.

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