16 May 2019 04:52
When Zamalek lock horns with RS Berkane, it’s going to mark a rare highlight in the history of the Cairo giants. It will be the third time the White Knights will be facing a Moroccan this term. On their way to the 2018-19 Total CAF Confederation Cup final, Zamalek had to overcome the hurdles of Ittihad Tangier in the 2nd 1/16th round, then Hassania Agadir at the quarters. Now, they will have to take another Moroccan opponent in the form of this season’s surprise packets, Berkane.
Overall, Zamalek had faced Moroccan clubs in 17 previous CAF games. The White Knights clearly have the upper hand, having won 10 of these matches, drawn five and just two defeats. The White Knights have scored 26 goals in the process compared to picking the ball 12 times from their net.
The first Moroccan side to face Zamalek was Rabat based AS FAR in 1985 African Cup of Champion Clubs (now CAF Champions League) at the semi-final stage. Each side won 1-0 at home, with the Moroccans prevailing 4-3 on penalties.
On their way to glory in the 1996 Champions League, Zamalek overcame Morocco’s COD Meknes in the quarterfinals. A 2-0 home victory was followed by an away 2-2 draw, that saw Zamalek reaching the semis on their way to their fourth title.
Moroccan opponents paved the way to another CAF Champions League title for Zamalek, this time overcoming giants Raja in the 2002 final. A goalless draw in Casablanca was followed by a home 1-0 victory that saw Zamalek conquering the continent for a then fifth time record.
Zamalek’s last CAF title came also on the expense of another Moroccan giant. The White Knights lifted the 2003 CAF Super Cup trophy defeating Wydad Athletic 3-1 in Cairo to achieve their third title, and their last till date CAF glory.
Zamalek overcame another Moroccan side in the shape of MAS Fez in the 2012 Champions League 1/8th finals. The White Knights completed a double of 2-0 victories away then home to reach the group stage then. In the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup 1/8th round, Zamalek was held to a goalless draw by FUS Rabat, but managed an away 3-2 victory later to go through to the next round.
Wydad was the opponent once again in the 2016 CAF Champions League semifinal. A hectic encounter saw Zamalek winning 4-0 in Alexandria, before succumbing to a 5-2 defeat in Casablanca that was not enough to see them out. The White Knights qualified to the final winning 6-5 on aggregate, just to finish runner ups to South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns.
And it was in this season’s CAF Confederation Cup that Zamalek saw off two Moroccan opponents. In the 2nd 1/16th round Zamalek managed an away goalless draw with Ittihad Tangier before winning 3-1 at home to reach the group stage. In the quarterfinals they held Hassania Agadir to another away goalless draw, and a 1-0 victory at home was enough to see the White Knights through to the semis. Now they will play for the second tier continental club trophy against another Moroccan team, RS Berkane.
Zamalek previous meetings with Moroccan sides
1985 Cup of Champion Clubs Semifinal
Zamalek – FAR 1-0
FAR – Zamalek 1-0 (FAR won 4-3 on penalties)
1996 Cup of Champion Clubs Quarterfinal
Zamalek – COD Meknes 2-0
COD Meknes – Zamalek 2-2
2002 CAF Champions League Final
Raja – Zamalek 0-0
Zamalek – Raja 1-0
2003 CAF Super Cup
Zamalek – Wydad 3-1
2012 CAF Champions League 1/8th Finals
MAS Fez – Zamalek 0-2
Zamalek – MAS Fez 2-0
2015 CAF Confederation Cup 1/8th Finals
Zamalek – FUS Rabat 0-0
FUS Rabat – Zamalek 2-3
2016 CAF Champions League Semifinal
Zamalek – Wydad 4-0
Wydad – Zamalek 5-2
2019 CAF Confederation Cup 2nd 1/16th Finals
Ittihad Tangier – Zamalek 0-0
Zamalek – Ittihad Tangier 3-1
2019 CAF Confederation Cup Quarterfinal
Hassania Agadir – Zamalek 0-0
Zamalek – Hassania Agadir 1-0