Zamalek overturn first leg deficit to win CAF Confederation Cup!

Zamalek are the champions of African club football’s secondary competition after a dramatic 1-0 win over RS Berkane in the second leg of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup final secured them the trophy on aggregate on Sunday.

The Egyptian giants headed into the return fixture at the Cairo International Stadium trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Morocco a week ago.

But roared on by a fervent home crowd draped in Zamalek’s traditional white and red, they produced a stirring fightback to be crowned kings of the continent for the second time.

It was striker Ahmed Hamdi who proved the match-winner, firing Zamalek ahead on 23 minutes to level the tie on aggregate.

However, the home side’s joy was tempered by Hamdi being forced off injured just before half-time after landing awkwardly.

With the scores remaining delicately poised, the second half became an intense rearguard action for the White Knights as Berkane launched wave after wave of attack in pursuit of a crucial away goal.

Senegalese midfielder Ibrahima Ndiaye stood out as Zamalek displayed tremendous resilience and organisation to repel the persistent threat of their Moroccan opponents.

Berkane’s frustrations boiled over late on as defender Hamza El Moussaoui received a straight red card, reducing them to 10 men and forcing them to commit even more bodies forward.

But Zamalek’s defence remained impregnable under intense pressure in the closing stages to seal a 2-1 aggregate victory and spark jubilant scenes of celebration.

It caps a remarkable revival for the Cairo-based club who only recently won the title in 2018/19 season to make it their second title of the competition.

For Berkane, meanwhile, their dream of a third TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup triumph in four years slipped agonisingly through their grasp after coming so close to glory on the road once again.

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