Egypt’s Zamalek dominate Tunisia’s Esperance

Mahmoud Hamdi of Egypt's Zamalek team in action against Esperance Sportive de Tunis' Ibrahim Ouattar on Feb. 14, 2020. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari)
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Updated 15 February 2020

Egypt’s Zamalek dominate Tunisia’s Esperance

  • It was Zamalek’s fourth win in the Cup’s 28 editions, which both teams have contested five times previously, with the Cairo side now having won the second most titles

AL RAYYAN, Qatar: Egypt’s Zamalek outclassed Tunisia’s Esperance 3-1 in the CAF Super Cup in Doha on Friday, driven by a duo of inspired goals by Achraf Bencharki.

It was Zamalek’s fourth win in the Cup’s 28 editions, which both teams have contested five times previously, with the Cairo side now having won the second most titles.

Youssef Mohamed “Obama” Fayed headed in Zamalek’s second-minute opener, invigorating the noisy and more numerous Egyptian fans.

VAR was used to adjudicate a 47th minute foul by Zamalek’s Mahmoud Attia that saw him shown yellow and Esperance’s Abdelraouf Benguit leveled with a penalty.

But it was Bencharki who stole the night with a surgical shot in the 57th minute that electrified the near-capacity crowd at the ground in the outskirts of the Qatari capital.

Esperance substitute Mohamed Ali Ben Hamouda had an 86th minute effort disallowed because of a clear foul, all but sealing the result for Zamalek’s jubilant fans.

Morocco’s Bencharki drove home Zamalek’s third and final goal in injury time.

Friday’s fixture helped put to bed the chaotic clash that saw Esperance qualify, the AFC Champions League at which Wydad Casablanca abandoned the final in protest at the organizers’ decision not to use VAR.

Play was stopped for more than an hour at last year’s clash with the Moroccan side insisting they had not been told the video ref would be deployed.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport named Esperance the winners after a bruising legal battle that did nothing to enhance the image of scandal-tainted African football.

The Super Cup is an annual one-off match pitting the winner of the CAF Champions League and second-tier CAF Confederation Cup against each other. It was staged in Africa from its inception in 1993 until last year when it moved to Qatar.


Five players out of French Open qualifying due to COVID-19

Updated 21 September 2020

Five players out of French Open qualifying due to COVID-19

  • The qualifiers will begin later on Monday, with the main draw set to commence on Sept. 27

PARIS: Five players have been withdrawn from the French Open qualifying tournament after two players and a coach tested positive for COVID-19, organizers have said.
The qualifiers will begin later on Monday, with the main draw set to commence on Sept. 27.
“The Roland Garros tournament directors can confirm that two players competing in the qualifying tournament have tested positive for COVID-19 and three others have confirmed close contact with a coach who has tested positive for COVID-19,” the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said in a statement.
“In line with tournament health protocols, the five players will not compete in the qualifying tournament and will self isolate for a period of seven days. In total, some 900 tests have been carried out since Sept. 17.”
Organizers did not reveal the names of those who had been pulled out but Damir Dzumhur said he had been withdrawn because his coach Petar Popović had returned a positive test.
“That’s why I can’t play at Roland Garros and I don’t have a chance to compete,” he wrote on his Instagram account.
“He didn’t get a chance to do a second test and we’re sure he was false positive because my coach has antibodies,” added the Bosnian, who reached the third round in Paris in 2015 and 2018.
The French Open will be held from Sept. 27-Oct. 11 after being moved from its usual late May-June slot.
The FFT is planning to allow 5,000 spectators per day following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. It had previously said the claycourt major would permit a maximum of 11,500 fans per day.