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Zamalek Face Raja In Africa Champions League Semis

Raja Casablanca will host Zamalek in the first leg of their CAF Champions League semifinal clash on Sunday evening, 18th October 2020.

Raja Casablanca will host Zamalek in the first leg of their CAF Champions League semifinal clash on Sunday evening, 18th October 2020.

The Moroccan outfit will be gunning for their fourth African title when they meet the Egyptian giants who are eyeing their sixth continental crown.

Raja booked their place in their final four with a 2-1 win over TP Mazembe in February, while Zamalek survived a 1-0 second-leg loss to prevail 3-2 against Esperance de Tunis.

The Green Eagles are coming into the match after defeating FAR Rabat 2-1 in a clash that saw them being crowned the Moroccan fop-flight champions.

The African Champions League offers Raja coach Jamal Sellami a chance to add silverware to the trophy cabinet in a clash that promises to be an epic battle for these two giants of African football.

“This is a very important game for us. We had just won the Moroccan League and now we must shift our attention to the continental mission. Games between teams from Morocco and Egypt are always tough and are decided by the smallest of details. I have high confidence in my players,” DSelammi told reporters in a pre-match press conference.

“We will miss our supporters because of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, but we will play to have a convincing result at home before heading to Egypt for the return leg. Our target is to win the Champions League for the fourth time.”

Zamalek, on the other hand, were last in action on Monday, defeating Haras El Hodood 2-1 in an Egyptian Premier League clash to tune up nicely for the face-off with Raja.

The Jaime Pacheco’s charges will be welcoming captain Mahmoud Abdel Razek “Shikabala” after recovering from a knee injury which he sustained during a recent Egyptian Premier League match against Pyramids.

The White Knights will be missing the services of Tunisian international Ferjani Ssasi who is reportedly bedridden after contracting the novel coronavirus.

Nevertheless, coach Pacheco has openly stated his aim to bring the Champions League trophy to the club for the first time in 18 years despite a depleted squad.

“We played five games in 15 days and my players are exhausted, and hopefully this will not reflect on such an important game. We are facing the Moroccan champions, whom I congratulate on winning the league. We will show our character and ambition because our target is to reach the final,” the Portuguese coach said.

“It’s a game of two halves and the second leg will decide who goes to the final. Having the return leg at home is an advantage but only theoretically. All the semifinalists are good teams and chances are equal.”

The match is set to take place at Stade Mohamed V starting at 21:00  Central Africa Time.

The second leg of the encounter is scheduled for Saturday, 24 October at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria.

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