Football

Zesco off to Egypt, eye first away win

Jesse Were

CHISHALA MUSONDA, Ndola
ZESCO United striker Jesse Were says Egypt is a hostile battleground but the Ndola side are focused on getting a positive result when

they face Smouha in Alexandria in the Confederation Cup Group C match on Friday.
The Kenya international has recovered from an injury and is making a return to the squad after missing out of the outing to Angola where the Zambians were hammered 3-0 by Recreativo Libolo.
“We are going there [Egypt] and we just have to focus on a positive result,” Were said at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola before departure for Alexandria yesterday.
“It is going to be tough, Egypt is a hostile place to be, but according to our plan, we are going to fight and, hopefully, we can get a positive result.”
Going into the fifth round, Zesco are third with six points at par with Libolo but the Angolans have a superior goal aggregate while leaders Al Hilal Ubayyid of Sudan are a point ahead.
Only two teams from all the four groups will qualify for the quarter-finals.
Zesco have drawn twice and lost twice away this year.
“It will be crucial for us because we know that without a positive result in Egypt it will be bad for us because it will be difficult to get to the quarter-finals. It has been a challenge getting goals but it is an all team round effort. I am coming back [from injury] and am there to score goals but we usually fight together as a team. But whoever scores it will be for us,” said Were, who has scored three goals in the competition.
Zesco coach Zlatko Krmpotic is upbeat of getting a desired result.
Meanwhile, Zanaco players are targeting victory over Egyptian side Al Ahly in Saturday’s CAF Champions League Group D match so that they finish top, ALEX NJOVU reports.
“Our target is to top the group,” defender George Chilufya said in an interview at Sunset Stadium in Lusaka yesterday.
The Bankers are in the lead with 10 points, three ahead of Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco have six points while Cameroonian side Coton Sport are winless.
Zanaco held Al Ahly to a goalless draw on May 13 in Alexandria.  
Midfielder Saith Sakala said: “We have a perfect opportunity to beat Al Ahly and progress to the next round. We are determined to win the game on Saturday. It is an important match.”
Another midfielder, Diddy Kitumbo, is confident the Bankers will overrun Al Ahly.
Coach Mumamba Numba said the players are hungry for success.
“This is an important game. Our target is to progress to the next round. We have to collect maximum points against Al Ahly. They are a big team with massive experience but we are not scared of them,” Numba said.
Al Ahly are expected in Lusaka today.

 

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