‘Giant killers’ DeMbare after Egypt’s Zamalek

The White Knights, as Zamalek are nicknamed, lost 2-1 to in their opening group match to rivals Al Ahly while the Harare giants beat Asec Mimosa by the same margin a fortnight ago.

The host are under pressure to register the first three points in their African campaign, while DeMbare will seek to consolidate their surprise package brand.

The match kicks off at 9pm and the five time African Champions who have lost twice in two weeks to Al Ahly, need to win against the only Southern African side left in the tournament.

Although the Cairo-based team is favourite, Dynamos head coach George Mandigora said his club’s record so far makes the tie unpredictable.

“I watched Zamalek against Al Ahly, they are a very good side, very physical and it will not be easy for us but no one will be right in predicting the result out rightly,” he said as the team left for Egypt.

Dynamos launched their campaign with a 2-1 victory over ASEC Mimosa in Harare on the first day of the competition’s group phase and will have midfielder Wonder Sithole back in their fold. Vice-captain Desmond Maringwa will miss a second consecutive Champions League match as he has failed to recover from injury.

ASEC hosted Ahly in another Group A meeting last nightl. The two lastclashed four times in two years of the same competition, the Egyptians winning both editions.

According to Mandigora, Zamalek are not invincible. They have only progressed beyond the group stage twice in four attempts since 1997, something which Mandigora, who has already beaten the tournament holders home and away without conceding a goal, would finding interesting to re-write.

“I continue saying that if we want to be the best; we have to beat the best. Group A is a group of death as most of the teams have dominated the tournament over the years,” he said.

The top two finishers of the two groups will advance to play in the October semi-finals, while the final will be a two-legged affair to be played between end of October and early November.

Dynamos have slippery forward Edward Sadomba in their ranks to count on. The Warriors fringe player is Zimbabwe’s second best goal scorer at the moment with 12 goals in 16 games while Leonard Tsipa slightly equals Zamalek’s new Ghanaian signing Junior Agogo in size.

Going in today’s fixture Ahly and Dynamos both share the Group A lead on three points.

August 2008
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