Egyptian powerhouse Zamalek have secured a dominant 4-1 victory over Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Rangers International FC of Enugu in Cairo.
Their Nigerian striker Stanley Onwuachi was among the scorers at the Cairo International Stadium giving the North Africans a healthy lead after the Round of 32 first leg CAF Champions League encounter on Sunday.
The 26-year-old put the White Knights ahead in the eight minute after connecting well with Osama Ibrahim’s corner kick.
Coach Imama Amakapabo’s men, who had failed to win any of their previous two games, struggled to make the most of some half-chances against a dogged Zamalek defence, as debutant Hossam Paulo scored the host’s second goal in the 22nd minute.
Mohammed Ibrahim floated a perfect pass into the feet of Ayman Hefny, who took his time before tapping the ball home at the far post.
A shell-shocked Flying Antelopes soon found themselves out of the game as Mostafa Fathi powered in his penalty kick past goalkeeper Itodo Akor.
Bobby Clement’s strike on 82 minutes gave Enugu Rangers the slenderest of lifelines, but the Egyptians held firm to secure a massive home victory.
The second leg holds at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Enugu, with Amapakabo’s men needing to score three unreplied goals to reach the group stage of the money-spinning competition. A huge mountain to climb indeed.