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  Sunday, 1 December, 2002, 00:55 GMT
Zamalek eye trophy
Raja Casablanca failed to take sufficient risks
Raja have a massive task if they hope to lift the trophy
Champions League final, first leg
Raja Casablanca 0-0 Zamalek

Egyptian giants, Zamalek, have taken a huge step forward in their quest to win a fifth African Champions League title.

At the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca they ground out a draw that makes them big favourites to lift the trophy in two weeks' time.

The Egyptian's zonal defence frustrated Raja, leaving little space for them to play and ensuring the home side's forwards were always out-numbered.

Zamalek made it clear from the start that their main target was a clean sheet, beginning with eight defensive players and leaving creative midfielder Hazem Emam and top scorer Abdel Haliem Ali on the bench.

Raja too played a defensive-minded game, and gave excessive attention to Zamalek's veteran Hossam Hassan, who was alone in attack.

Their Belgian coach, Walter Meeuws, may now be regretting his decision not to take more risks.

Despite the possession Raja enjoyed, they rarely got into an dangerous positions.

Sami Tajeddin's entrance in the second half raised the Moroccan pressure and added some much needed entertainment.

However, he was soon absorbed by Zamalek's well organized defence.

Raja now face the daunting task of winning in front of 90,000 fans in Cairo in the second leg on 13 December if they want to lift the trophy.


Raja: Mustapha Chadili, Abdellatif Jrindrou, Noureddine Kacemi, Abdelouahed Abdessamad, El Amin Erbate, Nater Hamid, Nabil Masloub, Zakaria Aboub (Sami Tajeddin 55 mins), Mohamed Ali Diallo (Zouit Omar 78 mins), Hicham Aboucherouane, Francois Endene Elokan.

Zamalek: Abdelwahed El Sayed, Mehdat Abdelhady, Ibrahim Hassan, El Kabany Waiel, Beshir Al Tabei, Hossam Abdel Moniem, Tamer Abdelhamid, Hossam Hassan (Abdel Haliem Ali 88 mins), Walied Salah Abdellatif, Aboelea Mohamed, Tarek Abdelhamid.

Referee: Falla Ndoye (Senegal).

 VOTE RESULTS
Who will lift the trophy?

Raja Casablanca
 36.95% 

Zamalek
 63.05% 

2330 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
African Champions League final

Final in focus

Semi-final action

Group tables
See also:

30 Nov 02 | CAF club competitions
Links to more CAF club competitions stories are at the foot of the page.


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Links to more CAF club competitions stories

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