CAF CL: Impressive Zanaco held by Al Ahly in Egypt
A spirited performance by Zanaco saw them pick a a vital 0 – 0 away draw in Alexandria against Al Ahly.
The Zambian champions took on the Egyptian giants punch for punch in an exciting match that could have easily gone either way as Toaster Nsabata did not have to make any significant save until the second minute of injury time.
Ahly started well, attacking with purpose and were pressing from the top which unsettled Zanaco.
They could have gone ahead in the 4th minute when a cross from the right found Souleman Coulibally who had worked some space between Ziyo Tembo and George Chilufya but his contact with the ball was not firm enough direct the ball on target.
But once Numba Mumamba’s side had settled into their rhythm, they were beginning to boss play in the midfield with Zimileseni Moyo and Richard Kasonde not giving the Egyptians chance to settle on the ball.
Augustine Mulenga on the left flank was looking good going wide and cutting inside at times and his shot in the 30th minute was strong and on target but direct at the goalkeeper.
After the break, Ahly made a change which saw Souleman come in for Gabber.
It was wave after wave of attack in the opening five minutes from the hosts but Zanaco goalie Toaster Nsabata was on top of the game on the day as was first to every cross that was sent in.
Zanaco showed that they were still in the game as they responded in the 51st minute with a shot from Moyo on the edge of the box which was deflected off target after he was set up by Mulenga.
Zanaco did little to slow down the game in the dying minutes and they were almost made to pay in the second minute of the referee’s optional time when Coulibally controlled a cross in the six yard box from a set piece on the left.
The Ivory Coast striker found himself in acres of space with only Nsabata to beat but the excellent Zanaco goal-minder was well positioned to make a point blank save.
The result sees Zanaco move into second position in group D after Wydad Casablanca beat Coton Sport of Cameroun 2 – 0 in the other fixture of the group.
Zanaco next play Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca at Heroes Stadium on 23rd May.
The result sets a good weekend for Zambian clubs against the Egyptian clubs after Zesco United beat Smouha 1 – 0 in the CAF Confederations Cup earlier in the day.
Toaster Nabata – Taonga Bwembya, Chongo Chirwa, George Chilufya, Ziyo Tembo, Richard Kasonde, Zimiseleni Moyo (Andrew Kwiliko), Ernest Mbewe, Augustine Mulenga (Kennedy Musonda), Felix Nyaende (Kwame Attram), Saith Sakala
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