Caf Confederation Cup: Zamalek, Sfaxien win semi-final first legs

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EPA/Mohamed Hossam
The two North African heavyweights secured first-leg victories in Sunday’s semi-finals

SC Zamalek and CS Sfaxien defeated Etoile du Sahel and RS Berkane respectively in Sunday’s Caf Confederation Cup semi-final first legs.

In the later kick-off, Mahmoud Kahraba scored the only goal of the game with a thumping volley in the 36th minute as Zamalek defeated Tunisian giants ESS in a cagey contest.

The Cairene heavyweights snuck into the final four after a 1-0 aggregate triumph over Morocco’s Hassania Agadir in the previous round, but have given themselves the edge ahead of their trip to Sousse next Sunday. Zamalek have won five Champions League crowns, but have never lifted Africa's secondary club competition.

ESS may point towards their postponed quarter-final second leg—as Al-Hilal requested for the fixture to be delayed due to ongoing political turmoil in Sudan—as an explanation as to why they appeared second best at the Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria on Sunday.

Etoile du Sahel only played their second leg against Al-Hilal on Tuesday, affording them little time to prepare for Zamalek.

In the earlier semi-final, CS Sfaxien gave themselves breathing space by defeating RS Berkane 2-0 at the Stade Taieb Mhiri.

Alaeddine Marzouki opened the scoring in the 29th minute with a bullet header, before Hamza Mathlouthi’s 47th-minute penalty gave them a tangible advantage before the return match.

RS Berkane will host the four-time Confederation Cup champions at the Stade Municipal de Berkane on May 5.

 

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