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Jose Gomez hails Zamalek’s big game mentality after crushing Dreams FC in Kumasi

Jose Gomez lauded Zamalek’s big game mentality as the Egyptian giants dispatched Dreams FC to book their place in the final of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup.  

The White Knights followed up a goalless first leg in Cairo with a 3-0 demolition of the Ghanaian upstarts in Kumasi on Sunday to set up a showpiece clash with either Berkane or USM Alger.

Goals from Hamza Mathlouthi and Mustafa Shalaby added to Samson Akinyoola’s spectacular volley as Zamalek ended Dreams’ remarkable fairytale run in this season’s competition.

“We worked hard and came to win, and I said before the match that when everything is under our control, we can perform at the best level possible for us,” Gomez said after the resounding victory.

“The two wingers and full-backs positioned themselves well and helped the team in the defensive situation, so we were strong defensively.”

Zamalek had been frustrated in the first leg as Dreams stood firm, but the Egyptians were utterly ruthless in Kumasi to underline their status as continental heavyweights.

“I saw a lot of different things from the start. We created spaces and deserved to win,” added the Portuguese coach.

“Dreams played a good match and attacked well, and Mohamed Awad blocked several chances, in addition to the defense that prevented more than one chance.”

While Dreams rallied after Mathlouthi’s early opener, Akinyoola’s sublime left-footed strike on 27 minutes effectively ended the tie as a contest.

“Zamalek did not take advantage of the opportunities it had in the first leg, and we succeeded in dealing with the return match well,” admitted Gomez.

“We were the best and deserved to win the match and qualify for the final.”

After Shalaby completed the scoring late on, Zamalek could start looking ahead to their first Confederation Cup final appearance since 2019.

“Zamalek is looking forward to winning the title, and we will do our best to win the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup,” said Gomez.

For Dreams, an incredible debut campaign in continental competition ends with pride but also ultimately disappointment following their crushing defeat.

They were unable to summon the heroics that saw them knock out giants Stade Malien as Gomez’s streetwise side simply had too much quality.  

The Zamalek boss was quick to praise Dreams’ efforts while also highlighting his side’s resilience when it mattered most.

“We worked hard and came to win,” he reiterated. “When everything is under our control, we can perform at the best level.”

Asserting control of proceedings is precisely what Zamalek did in Kumasi as they booked their place in yet another African final.

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Daraja Kapoor

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