23 May 2019 10:06
Winning domestic titles in Switzerland and Saudi Arabia may have highlighted Christian Gross’ coaching career, but the 64-year old tactician knows a continental trophy would mean another level of success.
Ninety (90) minutes from achieving that feat with Egyptian giants Zamalek, he remains resolute that his side can go all the way to write a new chapter of his career.
Zamalek conceded a last gasp goal to lose the first leg final of the Total CAF Confederation Cup 2018/19 season last Sunday in Berkane. Togolese Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba scored four minutes into injury time to give Moroccan side RS Berkane a 1-0 lead before the reverse and decisive fixture in Alexandria on Sunday.
“I’m very sad we conceded a goal right at the end”, Gross said after the game.
“But we can come back and turn things around. We will fight to win the title for the sake of our supporters.”
Zamalek has lost just twice in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup before the final, keeping clean sheets in their last seven games before their trip to Berkane. They appeared to be of their way of extending that record but for the 94th minute Laba strike.
“We came into the game looking for a positive result, but they scored at the very end. We will do our best to win the title at home. We will deal with the errors quickly. The players tried to score, but they did not succeed and missed more than a chance” added the Swiss.
Gross admitted Berkane gave a good run for their money in the first leg. “We played against a strong competitor with quality players. We managed to contain them for almost all the 90 minutes but they made use of a rare mistake from a counter attack and scored”, he noted.
Zamalek is hungry to end a 16-year continental drought since they last won a CAF trophy in 2003. And the Swiss has promised the White Knights faithful supporters they will have a night to remember in Alexandria this Sunday.
“I’m positive we can win in Alexandria. I promise our supporters we will give them something to cheer about”, concluded Gross.
The winner is guaranteed $1.25 Million and $625,000 for the losing finalist.