RS Berkane goalkeeper looking to draw first blood against Zamalek in CAF Confederation Cup final

RS Berkane goalkeeper looking to draw first blood against Zamalek in CAF Confederation Cup final

Festus Chuma 15:32 - 11.05.2024

RS Berkane and Zamalek are set for a high-stakes CAF Confederation Cup final with each team eyeing continental glory.

RS Berkane goalkeeper Hamza Hamiani anticipates a challenging duel as his team faces Egypt's Zamalek in the CAF Confederation Cup final. 

Hamiani emphasized that both teams have an equal opportunity to triumph despite the imposing challenge ahead. 

The Moroccan side will host the first leg of the final this Sunday, reprising the 2019 showdown when Zamalek edged Berkane on penalties after a dramatic stalemate over two legs.

"All our players are prepared to face Zamalek, and we aim to secure a positive result in the first leg to take a comfortable lead into the return match," Hamiani shared confidently with Egyptian TV channel On Time Sports.

The 30-year-old keeper acknowledged Zamalek's strength but believes his team is equally prepared. 

"The final will be a difficult encounter, as all finals are," Hamiani admitted. 

"Zamalek are a strong team with a talented squad boasting players with vast experience in continental championships. However, we have a good team with great players ourselves, and I believe the game will be evenly contested."

Berkane has not been without challenges en route to the final as their semi-final clash with Algeria's USM Alger was affected by geopolitical tensions, resulting in the Moroccan side proceeding directly to the final. Despite this unusual circumstance, Hamiani remains unfazed.

"We'll put that behind us. Our focus is solely on the pitch. We are not fazed by external matters. We are undergoing thorough preparations for the Zamalek match.

"Finals demand high levels of concentration throughout, with tactical battles and physical confrontations likely to play out. Ultimately, it will be the small details that decide the outcome," he concluded.

The game serves as a rematch of the 2019 final as during that showdown both teams secured narrow 1-0 victories on home turf before Zamalek prevailed 5-3 in a tense penalty shootout. 

RS Berkane despite their prior continental heartbreaks boasts an impressive record in the CAF Confederation Cup winning the competition twice and reaching the final three times.

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Zamalek on their side have a storied legacy that includes numerous African titles, though the White Knights are currently facing a five-year continental trophy drought.