Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron insists his side was “better” than TP Mazembe in their CAF Champions League clash at the weekend and they were disappointed to be held to a goalless draw.
Zamalek and Mazembe played out a 0-0 in their Group A clash at the Al Salaam Stadium in Cairo on Friday night, with the White Knights unable to avenge the 3-0 loss they suffered at the hands of the Ravens when the teams first met in Lubumbashi back in late November.
The result means the DR Congo side will advance as group winners, while Carteron was left to rue a major disruption right before the match which saw Achraf Bencharki injured during the warm-up and replaced by Ahmed Sayed ‘Zizo’.
“I’m very disappointed with the draw, we were better and reached their goal on several occasions but we were unable to score,” Carteron said during the post match press conference, as quoted by Tidesports source.
“Bencharki is a great player and is very influential as he’s the team’s top goalscorer but Zizo performed really well throughout the whole game.
“The team is in very good physical condition and we were able to achieve great results lately. If we would’ve scored in the first-half no one would’ve talked about the players’ physical condition or the absence of a fitness coach,” he added.
The Frenchman praised his side for their recent performances, especially goalkeeper Mohamed Abo Gabal.
“Abo Gabal was slightly injured lately and he appeared today after fully recovering,” explained the coach. “Our players’ ability allows to play with just one striker instead of two, I rely mostly on the crosses.”
Zamalek will wrap up their Group A campaign with a clash away to Primeiro de Agosto in Luanda next Saturday, 1 February.
Enyimba, Families Pay N2.5m To Release Ojo, Iluyomade
Sunshine Stars Captain, Abe Sunday, has disclosed that a sum of N2.5m was paid to the kidnappers before the duo, Dayo Ojo of Eyimba FC and Benjamin Iluyomade of Abia Comets were released.
Dayo Ojo and Benjamin Iluyomade were abducted last Sunday along the Benin-Owo expressway as they journeyed to Akure following the suspension of the Nigeria Professional Football League amid concerns over the global pandemic, Covid 19, but were later released four days later.
Abe, who played with both players at Sunshine Stars told journalists in Akure that the money was delivered to the kidnappers after serious negotiation.
The Sunshine captain said the decision of the kidnappers to meet with them and collect the money proved they have backing of high ranked citizens.
“They called us around after 4pm last Wednesday that we should come with the money, at times they asked me to send them recharge card. We tried to speak with them on the financial state of the country.
“We negotiated from N100m to N20m before they finally agreed on N2.5 million. Those people have back up in the Army and the Police. They never asked us to drop the money inside the bush, they met with us one on one.
“They asked me to bring the money before they released them, so I don’t know where police rescued them because I don’t like ‘fake news’ we reached Akure around 1am last Thursday.
“But the most important thing is that both of them are alive and are back with their families,” he said.
Plateau United Keeper Donates Cash To Fans
Plateau United goalkeeper, Chinedu Anozie has donated the sum of Twenty thousand naira (N20,000) to his fans to help in this difficult time.
The young goalkeeper gave out the sum of five thousand naira each to four followers to help them get something to eat amid the lockdown in Nigeria due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The ex-Abia Warriors and FC Ifeanyi Ubah has now joined Odion Ighalo and other celebrities who have helped their social media followers in this difficult time.
Anozie is enjoying a good season with Plateau United in the 2019/2020 Nigeria professional football league season and has helped them to the top of the table.
Anozie has kept ten clean sheets in the league this season, most by any goalkeepers in the league.
George Buried Amid Tears In Lagos
Rangers International of Enugu forward Ifeanyi George was finally buried last Saturday.
The remains of the late attacker were to rest at the Atan cemetery in Yaba, Lagos State, with few family and friends, present due to the global pandemic.
It would be recalled that the 26 years old lost his life after he was involved in a fatal accident while on his way to Lagos last week Sunday.
The accident occurred in Delta State and two other players in the vehicle also died along with him.
Ifeanyi George won the Nigerian professional football league title with Enyimba International of Aba and also part of the Rangers team that came back from three goals down to beat Kano Pillars in an epic Nigeria ‘s Federation cup back in 2017.
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