Saturday, 15 February 2020

Zamalek defeats Esperance 3-1 to lift Caf Super Cup

Achraf Bencharki struck a second-half brace to inspire Zamalek to a 3-1 win over Esperance and lift the 2020 Caf Super Cup final at Thani Bin Jassim Stadium, Doha, Qatar on Friday.

Moroccan forward Bencharki scored on 58 minutes and then deep into stoppage time to add on to Youssef Obama’s early goal and seal victory for Zamalek to win their first Super Cup title in 17 years and an overall fourth.

Esperance had tried to hit back through Algerian midfielder Abdelraouf Benguit, who made no mistake from the penalty spot nine minutes into the second half, to cancel out Obama’s goal.

But Bencharki then found the target four minutes later, before completing his double right at the death to put the match beyond Esperance’s reach.

It was heartbreak for Moune Chaabani’s Caf Champions League-winning Esperance, who lost their second successive Super Cup final after also falling to Raja Casablanca last season.

Interestingly, it was Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron’s second consecutive Super Cup after guiding Raja to the same title last season, fascinatingly against Esperance.

In the process, the Frenchman made history by becoming the first-ever manager to lift the Caf Super Cup in two straight years with two different clubs.

Zamalek showed intent as early as the second minute when both teams were still trying to settle down in the contest, as Obama turned into the back of the net with his head a cross off defender Mohamed Abdul Shafy’s boot.

For the next 43 minutes, both teams failed to breach each other’s defence but it was Zamalek who dominated possession against an Esperance side which never seemed urgent to successfully fight back.

For all control of possession, the White Knights were let down by a number of shots off-target as they struggled to double their advantage.

But Esperance turned the tide after the break, controlling play and resulting in Benguit’s equaliser.

However, as the Tunisians appeared to have clawed their way back into the match, Bencharki restored Zamalek’s lead four minutes later.

It was Esperance who kept on probing and looking more dangerous, looking to again get back into the contest, but they struggled for a breakthrough.

Bencharki then killed the match as a contest five minutes into stoppage time as Zamalek denied their opponents a second Caf Super Cup title.

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