Zamalek Clinches Quarterfinal Berth in The CAF Confederation Cup

Zamalek Striker Nasser Mansi’s stellar performance was on full display as he netted two goals, propelling the White Knights to a 2-1 triumph over Abu Salim in the Confederation Cup Group stage, held on Sunday.

The 26-year-old had fallen out of favor with both Colombian coach Juan Carlos Ossorio and his successor Moatamed Gamal, who favored Tunisian striker Seif Jaziri.

However, Jose Gomes, the team’s newly appointed coach, gave Mansi a chance to prove himself in his second appearance with the team.

Mansi rewarded his coach’s faith by opening the scoring in the seventh minute with an impressive volley before adding a second goal just three minutes into the second half.

Abu Salim managed to pull one back through Ayhaab Almiqlash’s powerful shot from inside the area, but television replays showed that the ball did not cross the line.

This victory secures Zamalek’s qualification to the quarterfinals of the competition as group leaders, with 13 points, a comfortable four-point lead over second-placed Abu Salim, with one game remaining.

Later on Sunday, group bottom-dwellers Academie SOAR (0 points) will host third-placed Sagrada Esperanca (4 points).

The match was overshadowed by a potentially serious injury to Zamalek’s international star Ahmed ‘Zizo’ Sayed, who was stretchered off just before halftime. The extent of his injury is yet to be revealed.

Gomes made several changes to the team compared to their previous league game against Ismaily, which marked his first appearance as coach last week.

He opted for the team’s established players, with all the winter signings starting on the bench.

Nasser Mansi opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a splendid volley, connecting with Omar Gaber’s cross and finding the roof of the net.

Mansi missed another easy chance as his close-range shot went over the bar.

Winger Mostaha Shalbi, returning after a four-month absence, also missed the target from close range with the goal at his mercy.

Mansi scored his second goal after taking advantage of a poor clearance from the host’s goalkeeper, firing the ball into the net three minutes into the second half.

At the hour mark, Gomes introduced new signings Ahmed Hamdi, Yasser Hamad, and Travis Mutyaba.

In the 75th minute, Ayhaab Almiqlash narrowed the gap for the hosts, but despite their offensive efforts, they failed to level the score.

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