Category: Football Created on Friday, 20 July 2012 11:38 Published Date
South Africa Bureau
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE much-anticipated Cairo derby between Al Ahly and Zamalek will be the highlight of this weekend’s CAF African Champions League group matches.
On Sunday, for the first time in the Derby’s 100-year history, the teams will face each other behind closed doors at the Military Academy Stadium with security concerns still an issue following the death of more than 70 people after a pitch invasion in Port said.
Adding to the tension ahead of the clash is the fact that the match is crucial for both sides.
Zamalek lost their opening group phase encounter to Ghanaian debutants Berekum Chelsea 3-2 while Ahly enjoyed an injury time goal to squeeze past 2010 Champions TP Mazembe of the DR Congo 2-1.
It will be the fifth time that the Whites and Reds lock horns in the continent’s premier club championship.
They first met in the 2005 Orange CAF Champions League semi final with Ahly winning both legs 2-1 and 2-0 respectively; and the Reds went on to win the title in that year.
In 2008 they met again in the group stage, with Ahly winning the first leg 2-1 and then they played to a 2-2 draw in the second. Ahly also went on to win the title that year.
The two clubs have 11 Champions League titles between them with Ahly record Champions League winners with six titles, followed by Zamalek who have five on their own.
Interesting enough the club side that is third on the list of titles won; with four titles, TP Mazembe is drawn in the same group with the two Egyptian sides making it a fierce battle for the semi final spots from this group.
Debutants Berekum Chelsea also proving they’re not minnows in this group.
Elsewhere, Group A resumes with leaders Esperance of Tunisia up against Libya’s ASO Chief.
Another Tunisian outfit ES Sahel have a date with Nigeria’s Sunshine Stars.