NAIROBI, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano is relishing the stern test posed by Egyptian giants Zamalek FC in the round of 32 at the 2021/22 CAF Champions League.
The Kenyan side wrapped up a 4-1 win on aggregate over Arta Solar 7 of Djibouti after thumping the visitors 3-0 in Nairobi on Saturday.
A glamour tie against the White Knights of Cairo awaits the Brewers who survived a number of scares before overpowering Arta.
“We were expecting to score even five, but it was not possible. We are happy about the victory because we played well despite some of the injuries we had. We managed to control the tempo,” Matano told a press conference after the game.
Matano, known in local circles as “The Lion” attributed the resounding victory to the depth of his team, saying they had recruited well and were able to make desired changes during the second half of the game.
“In the first leg, the team was split with some of the players in Nairobi, others in Djibouti and part of the team in Dubai. We came against a side that had trained together for one month in Cameroon, but we managed to contain them,” he added.
Matano stressed that his team has the quality to give Zamalek, who last won the Champions League in 2002, a good go despite coming to the tie as underdogs.
His team has to contend with the fact that Kenyan sides have an abysmal record against Egyptian opposition.
Zamalek now stands between them and a place in the lucrative group stages of the CAF Champions League.
A loss will demote the Kenyans into the final qualifying round of the second tier CAF Confederations Cup.
The first leg of the round of 32 will be played in Nairobi between Oct. 15-17 with the return fixture set for Oct. 22-24.