Even with the odds heavily stacked against them, the Cairo giants always seem to conjure a win. Despite having been stranded in Bamako for days due to political strife after their 1-0 loss to Stade Malien, the Red Devils bounced back on May 14 with a win for the ages with no fans there to support them. Al Ahly conceded what looked to be a killer away goal after just 17 minutes but Mohamed Aboutrika's hat-trick saved them from a last-16 exit.
When CA Bizertin began the season in blistering form following the recruitment of Maher Kanzari, many pundits were sceptical as to whether they could continue to outpace African champions and domestic league title-holders Esperance. The sceptics looked to have been vindicated when away losses in Sfax, Gafsa, and Kairouan allowed the Blood and Gold to overtake the northerners. However, two consecutive draws and an Esperance loss recently gifted a reinvigorated CA Bizertin side a golden opportunity to cut the deficit to one point in a direct confrontation with their rivals from the Tunisian capital. Playing away at El Menzah stadium on May 27, Kanzari’s side fought their way to a tense 1-0 win, thaks to Hatten Baratli’s penalty kick strike.
With the Egyptian Premier League cancelled, Zamalek players have nothing else to play for but the 2012 Caf Champions League. The desperation has quickly made way for a sense of urgency that is powering the White Knights to fantastic continental results despite domestic trouble both within and outwith the club. Facing the 2011 Caf Confederation and Caf Super Cup champions, Maghreb Fes, in the previous round, the Egyptian club posted a 2-0 victory over the Moroccans in the first leg and followed it up with another 2-0 win at home on May 13. For a club with barely competitive players, that is no small feat. A turbulent month did see Hassan Shehata resign over a rift with star winger Shikabala, but 'the master' has returned to guide Zamalek once more.
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