Zesco face Smouha of Egypt

Zesco United celebrate after the game against City of Lusaka at Woodlands Stadium in Lusaka. Zesco won 1-0 Picture By Tenson Mkhala

Smouha coach Moamen Soliman hopes to settle a score against Zesco United when they meet in Alexandria today for a penultimate Group C match of the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup.

Zesco beat their Egyptian hosts 1-0 in Ndola on May 13 thanks to a disputed handball by defender Patrick Malo that was converted by striker Jesse Were in the 72nd minute.

But Soliman insists justice be served at home in Alexandria where they are unbeaten in Group C with one win and a 1-1 draw against Group C leaders Al Hilal Obied of Sudan on June 3.

Smouha also come into the match on the back of a 2-1 away defeat to Group C leaders Obied on June 20.

Three days after that loss, the Egyptians were back in league action just after landing from Sudan with another away match on June 24 that they won 1-0 away at El Entag El Harby ahead of their crucial date against Zesco.

“We didn’t have the time and luxury to prepare for such an important game. We know that Zesco is one of the best team we have faced this season,” Soliman said at a pre-match briefing in Alexandria on Thursday.

“We faced a very organized team in Zambia but we deserved to get a point. It doesn’t mean Zesco were bad, they played a fantastic defensive game but the referee had another position. We hope that we will be at our best performance tomorrow (Friday).”

Smouha and Zesco are 4th and 3rd on 4 points and 6 points respectively heading into this crucial match for both sides.

Obied lead Group C on 7 points ahead of Saturday’s home game against 2nd placed CRD Libolo who humiliated Zesco 3-0 in Angola on June 20.

Libolo have 6 points but have a better goal difference against Zesco.

Zesco need nothing less than a draw on Friday to take into their final Group C home game against Obied on July 9 in Ndola as they battle to qualify for the Confederation Cup quarterfinals in September.

         

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