“Zamalek players were affected by the media pressures imposed on them before confronting the border guards today, and this caused delays during the first minutes of the match,” Medhat Abdel-Hadi said in a televised interview after Zamalek’s 2-1 victory at Al-Max Stadium in Alexandria.
Zamalek conceded a goal in the seventh minute, after a penalty kick was awarded against Mahmoud Al-Wensh after touching the ball by hand, he entered the penalty area, and the team struggled to score the amendment goal, amid the extraordinary brilliance of goalkeeper Ahmed Al-Saadani.
“We started entering the meeting atmosphere late, which provided the opportunity for the frontier guards to come forward and take the initiative, and we were confident that the border guards would focus on crossings,” Abdel Hadi said in televised statements.
And he continued, “The second half we presented a distinguished level and the situation changed a lot. The players entered this meeting under pressure from the media and social media sites, in addition to physical pressure, as we play a match almost every 3 days, with a large numerical shortage that the team has recently been exposed to.” .
Regarding the injury suffered by defender Mahmoud Alaa at the end of the first half, Abdel Hadi said, “Alaa will undergo medical examinations in the coming hours to determine his position on traveling with the mission to Morocco to face Raja Casablanca in the semi-finals of the African Champions League.”
The Zamalek coach returned to analyze the Guard match, when he said, “The team reached the border guard goal more than once and wasted some easy opportunities, before our success in reaching a tie and scoring the second goal later during the second half.”
Medhat Abdel Hadi, the winner of the 2002 CAF Champions League title with Zamalek as a player, stressed that the Egyptian league file has been closed permanently, to direct focus on the Moroccan Raja meeting in the Champions League, with the aim of preparing the players mentally and physically in a manner that is consistent with the meeting, its difficulty and its value, Noting that he considers it an early final.
“We watched the match between Raja in the Moroccan League last night, when he defeated the Royal Army in the last minute and won the league title, and we will start from today to study the strengths and weaknesses of Raja,” Abdel Hadi concluded.
Zamalek is preparing to meet Raja Casablanca, next Sunday, October 24, in the first leg of the semi-final round of the African Champions League at Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca.