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Zamalek Crowned CAF Super Cup champions

Zamalek have won the Confederation of African Football Super Cup after beating Esperance de Tunis 3-1 in Doha, Qatar.

Zamalek have won the Confederation of African Football Super Cup after beating Esperance de Tunis 3-1 in Doha, Qatar.

The Cairo giants stunned the more financed Blood and Gold taking an early lead through Youssef Ibrahim who headed home under the clutches of Sameh Derbali.

Esperance pressed for an equalizer and good goalkeeping kept them out when Hamdou Elhouni went close from an acute angle after 16 minutes.

A through ball from Fousseny Coulibaly to Kwame Bonsu set the Ghanaian one-on-one, but failed to beat a static Zamalek shot-stopper Mohamed Abougabal.

An inviting opportunity then fell to Captain Khalil Chamam following Mohammed Ali’s free-kick, but the lanky midfielder headed off target.

It was becoming a frustrating evening for the Blood and Gold, with Fousseny Coulibaly firing wide with the goal at his mercy from a right side position.

Zamalek often found themselves in promising positions in the closing minutes of the first half, but were ultimately let by their final pass.

The White Knights went up and almost extended their lead, but astounding shot-stopping from Moez Ben Charif kept out Ilyes Chetti’s attempt.

Esperance pulled level through a penalty in the 54th minute after Zamalek defender Mahmoud Hamdi handled the ball in the area. Abdelraouf Benguit stood up to find the roof of the net from the spot, sending Abou-Gabal the wrong way to level the score.

The Tunisian giants grew into the game as the game went on with Abdelraouf Benguit troubling Abougabal with an effort from distance a minute later.

However, Zamalek doubled their lead in the 58th minute thanks to a solo effort from Achraf Bencharki who intercepted a poor pass from Kwame Bonsu before placing a precise low shot into the bottom corner past the stranded keeper.

Esperance made their first change on the hour mark with Taha Khenissi replacing Bonsu as they tried to search for an equalizer.

Ibrahim Ouattara then responded with a testing effort of their own, but Abougabal was equal to the task with an easy save on 63 minutes.

A lovely build-up from Zamalek invited Hamed to link up with Saasi, whose half-volley from a central attacking position failed to trouble Ben Cherifia on 76 minutes.

The heroics was needed to keep them alive and Cherifia produced them denying substitute Abdallah Gomaa in quick succession with an outstanding double save from close-range.

There was nothing he could do though to prevent Bencharki’s effort from a sweeping counter-attack with a dinked effort on 90th minutes.

Esperance showed some late fight but Abougabal came up trumps denying Ben Hammouda with a stunning save.

How they lined up:

Zamalek XI: Mohamed Abougabal (GK), Hazem Emam (C), Mahmoud El Wensh, Mahmoud Alaa, Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, Tarek Hamed, Ferjani Sassi, Youssef Obama, Achraf Bencharki, Ahmed Sayed Zizo, Mostafa Mohamed

Esperance XI; Moez Ben Cherifia (GK), Sameh Derbali, Khalil Chamam (C), Mohamed Ali Yaakoubi, Ilyes Chetti, Fousseny Coulibaly, Kwame Bonsu, Abdelraouf Benguit, Billel Bensaha, Ibrahim Ouattara, Hamdou Elhouni

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