FOOTBALL

Algerian curse decreases Zamalek chances of progressing in CAF Champions League

A draw is enough for the Algerians to officially qualify for the tournament's quarter-finals, while Zamalek could be dumped out.

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Algerian curse decreases Zamalek chances of progressing in CAF Champions League
ANNEGRET HILSE AFP

A decisive clash is set to take place between MC Alger and Zamalek of Egypt in the fifth round of the CAF Champions League group stage. The Egyptian side's situation has grown highly complicated, while one point earned by the Algerians would mean their official qualification to the quarter-finals along with Tunisian side Espérance Sportive.

Mc Alger are currently second in the group standings with eight points, two behind Esperance Sportive, while Zamalek, who earned only two points, come third with very little chance of making it to the next round of the tournament.

Zamalek history against Algerians doesn't bode well

The history of Zamalek's away encounters in the continental competitions against Algerian teams dosen't give the advantage to the White Knights as they have never claimed a victory in Algeria.

The first face-off between Zamalek and Algerian teams dates back to 1984 when they lost 3-1 to JS Kabylie in the CAF champions league semi-final, while their second clash was in a 1993 Champions League quarter-final return leg against MC Oran, and the game ended in a goalless draw.

Zamalek then played against MO Béjaïa in the 2016 round of 16 return leg as they drew 1-1 with the Algerian side. Once again, the White Knights were hosted by Algerian USM Alger in the 2017 CL group stage when they went 2-0 down to the host team.

The last away game for Zamalek against the Algerians was in the group stage of CAF Champions League in 2019 and it ended in a goalless draw.

Zamalek finished last season's campaign as runners-up when they lost the final game to their historic rivals Al-Ahly at Cairo stadium, but are on the verge of shocking their fans this year with an early group stage elimination.