Saturday, December 5News That Matters

African ‘Man City’ draw to position squeeze on Orange Boys


Pyramids FC of Egypt are known as the ‘Manchester City’ of Africa because they share with the English Premier League club the advantages of huge investment from the Center East.

Formed in 2008 as Al Assiouty Sport, the club made no impact till Saudi Turki al Sheikh took over, modified the name to Pyramids and splashed thousands and thousands of dollars signing stars and coaches.

When Emirati Salim al Shamsi succeeded Al Sheikh he adopted a the same pattern with the draw of tough domestic giants Al Ahly and Zamalek and turning into a force in Africa.

They entered the CAF Confederation Cup for the most foremost time this season and might per chance per chance per chance entire a fairytale Sunday if they defeat Moroccan outfit Renaissance Berkane, identified as the Orange Boys, in the closing in Rabat.

Right here, AFP Sport spotlights 5 things to understand earlier than the title decider in the African the same of the UEFA Europa League.

At homeThis earnings to Berkane might per chance be considerably diluted because the title decider takes residing at the abet of closed doorways attributable to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is a tall blow as ordinarily Renaissance would were backed by a predominantly Moroccan crowd in the 50,000-capacity Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in the capital of the kingdom.

Berkane qualified for the closing by overcoming fellow Moroccans Hassania Agadir at the closing venue while Pyramids beat Horoya of Guinea 92 kilometres (57 miles) down the Atlantic fly in Casablanca.

CaptainsMohamed Aziz of Berkane and Abdallah el Said of Pyramids are every 35-year-archaic midfielders with the Moroccan working on the left flank and the Egyptian centrally.

Aziz converted two penalties to expend his club previous Hassania and is the main scorer in the Confederation Cup campaign with six, one extra than forward Hamdi Laachir.

El Said spent seven years with Ismaily, a the same duration at Al Ahly, and a mortgage spell with KuPS in Finland earlier than joining Pyramids two years ago.

CoachesBerkane handler Tarik Sektioui hopes to vary into the fourth Moroccan coach to handle the Confederation Cup and Pyramids boss Ante Cacic the most foremost Croat to perform the feat.

Sektioui, 43, done at home, in Europe and the Center East as a winger, and Berkane are the fourth Moroccan club he has led.

Extinct Croatia manager Cacic, 67, took over at Pyramids closing year, which became his 2d project in Africa having beforehand assisted compatriot Ilija Loncarevic when he became responsible of Libya.

ExperienceBerkane indulge in a determined edge over Pyramids in continental abilities as here is their fourth appearance in the Confederation Cup when put next with the most foremost of the Cairo outfit.

After a preliminary round exit as debutants 5 years ago, Berkane reached the closing closing season and took African giants Zamalek of Egypt to a penalty shootout earlier than shedding.

Whereas Pyramids are rookies, several first-team regulars fancy El Said and centre-abet Ali Gabr indulge in outdated CAF abilities with other Egyptian golf equipment.

TeamsSektioui and Cacic rely largely on local talent with handiest one non-Moroccan — centre-abet Issoufou Dayo from Burkina Faso — in the Berkane semi-closing starting up line-up.

One other Burkinabe, forward Alain Traore, got here off the bench against Hassania and bagged four of the 27 targets Berkane netted en path to the closing.

Pyramids selected nine Egyptian starters plus two attackers from west Africa, Burkinabe Eric Traore and prolific scorer John Antwi from Ghana.

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