Zamalek sets up all Egyptian CAF Champions League final against Al Ahly

TOPSHOT - This picture shows the trophy prior to the draw of the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) Champions league at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo on December 28, 2018. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)
The Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Champions League trophy. (Photo credit MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

This year’s CAF Champions League will be an all-Egyptian affair after Zamalek defeated Moroccan side Raja Casablanca on Wednesday to advance to the final of the showpiece.

Zamalek came from behind to record a 3-1-win and advanced with a 4-1 aggregate win having won the first leg 1-0 in Casablanca.

The buildup to the match was dominated by speculation about a potential postponement of the match due to health concerns after more than a dozen Raja players tested positive for Covid-19.

Despite that, the visitors got themselves back in the game through a deflected strike by Congolese Ben Malango two minutes after halftime.

The goal sparked a response from Zamalek and Ferjani Sassi levelled the tie on the night and put his side 2-1 on aggregate.

The match became tense in the final stages as Raja needed only a goal to knock out Zamalek. However, a brace from Mostafa Mohamed in the 85th and 88th minutes effectively ended the tie and earned the five-time champions a place in the final.

An effort by Achraf Bencharki, after Mohamed’s double, had been ruled out for offside and denied Zamalek a fourth goal.

Zamalek will face bitter rivals and record eight-time winners Al Ahly in a one-legged final. Al Ahly had qualified for the final after defeating another Moroccan side Wydad Athletic Club in the semifinal.