Before the 2019-20 Total CAF Champions League semifinal first leg that gathers Morocco’s Raja with Egypt’s Zamalek at the Mohamed V Complex, Casablanca on Sunday, 18 October 2020, CAFOnline.com spoke to both sides’ coaches and captains.
Jamal Sellami (Coach, Raja)
This is a very important game for us. We had just won the Moroccan League and now we must shift our attention to the continental mission. Games between teams from Morocco and Egypt are always tough and are decided by the smallest of details. I have high confidence in my players.
We will miss our supporters because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but we will play to have a convincing result at home before heading to Egypt for the return leg. Our target is to win the Champions League for the fourth time.
Mohsine Moutouali (Captain, Raja)
We know well how big this game is. We want a positive result that makes the away leg a bit easier mission. Zamalek is a strong team with talented players, and they deserve to be at this stage. It’s going to be a tough game but with our team spirit and high morale after winning the league, hopefully we will achieve our target which is the Champions League title.
Jaime Pacheco (Coach, Zamalek)
We played five games in 15 days and my players are exhausted, and hopefully this will not reflect on such an important game. We are facing the Moroccan champions, whom I congratulate on winning the league. We will show our character and ambition because our target is to reach the final.
It's a game of two halves and the second leg will decide who goes to the final. Having the return leg at home is an advantage but only theoretically. All the semifinalists are good teams and chances are equal.
Mahmoud Abdel Razek “Shikabala” (Captain, Zamalek)
Having football stopped for almost six months affected al teams, especially us because before the pandemic we were on top form. But we are back now and hopefully we can achieve our target. Our supporters need this title, and we are focused on this goal. Playing behind closed doors makes the chance 50-50 either home or away.