Despite their 3-1 victory over Smouha in the Egyptian Premier League earlier in the week, Zamalek was unable to capitalize on their momentum and was met with a scoreless draw against Al Merreikh of Sudan during the second round of CAF Champions League Group D matches on Friday.
As Al Merreikh’s stadium in Sudan failed to meet the criteria set by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the game was instead held in Libya’s Benina Martyrs Stadium.
During the first half, the home team, Al Merreikh, dominated and nearly scored 13 minutes into the match after a corner kick, but Zamalek defender Hossam Abdel-Meguid made an excellent save.
In the 32nd minute, Zamalek’s Tunisian striker, Seif Jaziri, missed a close-range shot after a fantastic pass from Seif Gaafar. Despite their best efforts in the second half, Zamalek was unable to score due to Al Merreikh’s solid defense.
Zamalek began their group stage campaign with a 1-0 defeat against Algeria’s Belouizdad at home. Meanwhile, Al Merreikh suffered a 1-0 loss to Tunisia’s Esperance in the first round of Group D matches last week.
Zamalek 0-1 Belouizdad
This season has been challenging for Egyptian defending champs Zamalek, both on and off the pitch, as they have only managed to secure two wins in 11 games across all competitions since the beginning of 2023.
Currently, they are in fourth place in the Egyptian Premier League with 32 points, which is five points behind their arch-rivals Ahly, who are the league leaders and have three games in hand due to their involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Next week Zamalek faces a difficult task in the CAF Champions League as they visit Esperance of Tunisia in the third round of Group D matches.