Egypt’s Zamalek dominate Tunisia’s Esperance

Mahmoud Hamdi of Egypt's Zamalek team in action against Esperance Sportive de Tunis' Ibrahim Ouattar on Feb. 14, 2020. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari)
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Updated 15 February 2020

Egypt’s Zamalek dominate Tunisia’s Esperance

  • It was Zamalek’s fourth win in the Cup’s 28 editions, which both teams have contested five times previously, with the Cairo side now having won the second most titles

AL RAYYAN, Qatar: Egypt’s Zamalek outclassed Tunisia’s Esperance 3-1 in the CAF Super Cup in Doha on Friday, driven by a duo of inspired goals by Achraf Bencharki.

It was Zamalek’s fourth win in the Cup’s 28 editions, which both teams have contested five times previously, with the Cairo side now having won the second most titles.

Youssef Mohamed “Obama” Fayed headed in Zamalek’s second-minute opener, invigorating the noisy and more numerous Egyptian fans.

VAR was used to adjudicate a 47th minute foul by Zamalek’s Mahmoud Attia that saw him shown yellow and Esperance’s Abdelraouf Benguit leveled with a penalty.

But it was Bencharki who stole the night with a surgical shot in the 57th minute that electrified the near-capacity crowd at the ground in the outskirts of the Qatari capital.

Esperance substitute Mohamed Ali Ben Hamouda had an 86th minute effort disallowed because of a clear foul, all but sealing the result for Zamalek’s jubilant fans.

Morocco’s Bencharki drove home Zamalek’s third and final goal in injury time.

Friday’s fixture helped put to bed the chaotic clash that saw Esperance qualify, the AFC Champions League at which Wydad Casablanca abandoned the final in protest at the organizers’ decision not to use VAR.

Play was stopped for more than an hour at last year’s clash with the Moroccan side insisting they had not been told the video ref would be deployed.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport named Esperance the winners after a bruising legal battle that did nothing to enhance the image of scandal-tainted African football.

The Super Cup is an annual one-off match pitting the winner of the CAF Champions League and second-tier CAF Confederation Cup against each other. It was staged in Africa from its inception in 1993 until last year when it moved to Qatar.

PSL 2020: Zalmi fans get special buses for Rawalpindi showdown 

Updated 44 min 41 sec ago

PSL 2020: Zalmi fans get special buses for Rawalpindi showdown 

  • Peshawar Zalmi takes on Lahore Qalandars at Rawalpindi stadium on Friday
  • Zalmi owner Javed Afridi arranged 5 special buses for fans to be part of live action

PESHAWAR: Peshawar Zalmi franchise administration arranged special buses to bring hundreds of enthusiastic Zalmi fans to Rawalpindi on Friday to watch their team in a showdown with Lahore Qalandars.
Lacking a home ground in Peshawar, Zalmi owner Javed Afridi provided for the home crowd the service to be part of the live action for every match the team plays at Rawalpindi stadium.

Zalmi fans are sitting in a bus, ready to depart from Peshawar to Rawalpindi ahead of their match against Lahore Qalandars on Feb. 28, 2020. (AN photo)

“It is a special incentive by Zalmi chairman Afridi to facilitate cricket fans. We have dedicated five buses with the capacity of 160 passengers each,” said Iftikharuddin Khattak, brand manager of Peshawar Zalmi. “We’re excited and hope to win the trophy,” he added.
However, he said that the fans have to pay Rs.2000 and would get return bus ticket to Peshawar with McDonald’s meal, a VIP match ticket and official Zalmi shirts. The fans will also get a chance to meet their favorite players while in Rawalpindi.
“It was my biggest wish to watch Peshawar Zalmi play live in the PSL match. I couldn’t travel all the way to Rawalpindi because I cannot afford it,” Khalid Anwar, a junior clerk at KP Health Department and an ardent Zalmi fan about to board the bus, told Arab News.
Abdul Wakil, a daily wage laborer and supporter of Zalmi team, said he was skipping work on Friday because he planned to travel to Rawalpindi to enjoy the rare sight of his favorite team playing live. 
Zalmi fans also enjoyed the team’s official instrumental anthem played in the buses by none other than leading bands Pukhtoon Core and Khumariyan.

Police in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have placed strict security measures to ensure PSL matches are conducted in a peaceful environment.
Security personnel have been deployed at the hotel accommodating players with a separate police unit dedicated to escort the teams to the stadium.