Zamalek beat Enyimba in P’Harcourt
Nigeria’s representatives in the CAF Champions League Enyimba began their campaign in the group stage of the competition with a loss at home after they were beaten 1-0 by Zamalek, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt on Sunday.
It was the first match of the group stage for the Enyimba and a goal from Bassem Morsy gave the three points to the Egyptians. Both sides have won the CAF Champions League previously. Enyimba have won it two times while Zamalek are five-time champions.
The game which was played under rainy conditions came on the back of a weak run of domestic form for the Nigerians. Enyimba lost to Shooting Stars 1-0 on June 12 after they had played a draw with Rivers United and lost to Nasarawa United in the Nigerian league.
Coach Paul Aigbogun, started Theophilus Afelokhai in goal while captain Chinedu Udoji, Emma Anyanwu, Chima Akas and Dare Ojo started in defence. Kelly Kester, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu, Joseph Osadiaye and Christian Pyagbara were in the midfield while Ifeanyi Onuigbo and Mfon Udoh were in the attack.
Before the match, Zamalek coach, Mohamed Helmy, had told www.cafonline.com that his side would approach the game with caution as they seek to win the title they last won in 2002 and the visitors came to Port Harcourt with that aim.
The two teams started the match cautiously as they tried to adjust to the sodden pitch but People’s Elephants got the first chance to go ahead as they seek to beat Zamalek goalkeeper, who is also the Egyptian national team goalkeeper, Ahmed El-Shenawy.
But the visitors got the first goal in the eighth minute when Morsey headed past Afelokhai in goal.
Enyimba fought to equalise but their efforts were thwarted by El-Shenawy. In the 22nd minute, Kester’s 25-yard shot was tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper and another shot form Ibenegbu was thwarted by the Egyptian keeper.
The biggest chance for the hosts came in the 42nd minute when Osadiaye shot over the bar from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Enyimba will now meet Mamelodi Sundowns, who defeated ES Setif 2-0 on Saturday in Algeria, on the weekend of June 28. Sundowns top Group B with three points, Zamalek are second while Enyimba are third and Setif are last.