Zamalek beat the Harare giants 5-1 to proceed to the next level of the competition. Izzecdeen is now the head coach of Al Amal Atbara who is banking on this rich vein of history when they take on Hwange Football Club in the first round, first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup at the Colliery.
He is hoping to repeat the same feat, now as a coach. The Egyptian-born coach immediately declared war on Chipangano upon his team’s arrival at the Harare International airport enroute to Victoria Falls on Friday.
“We have come here to score only two goals to win the away encounter. We are going to finish them off when they come to our own backyard in two weeks’ time,” Izzecdeen said.
The team boasts of five players that have played football at a highest level as they were part of the Sudanese side that took part at the just ended Africa Cup of Nations that was co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
“I have experienced players who have seen it all that include Sami Ailla, Tarig Mukhtar, Mohd Adam, Anas Eitahir and Khalid Moh.”
Izzecdeen, however, lamented the non-availability of Nigerian striker Amino Sinosee who could not recover from a knee injury in time to face Chipangano.
“He is one of my trusted strikers but he failed to recover to travel with the rest of the team.” Asked whether the Sudanese side had done much homework about their opponents, Izzecdeen said he knew a lot about Zimbabwean football.
“I was here in Zimbabwe in 1995 when I was still playing for Zamalek. We played Dynamos and beat them 5-1 in Harare so I am banking on that. I know Hwange are a new team in this competition obviously they have little experience,” added Izzecdeen.
His counterpart, Hwange coach, Tennant Chilumba could not be intimidated as he has called on the football community in the coal mining town to come in full force and support the boys at this crucial moment.
Chilumba said his boys are ready and morale is high in camp although he is expecting a tough match against the Sudanese side.
“Of course, we expect a tough match but the boys are ready, they have gelled up. Everyone should come down and give them maximum support. We have worked thoroughly on the boys’ fitness levels bearing in mind that we could be playing a side that is more experienced, but I guarantee that the results will be positive,” Chilumba said.
Hwange could be bringing in the experience of former captain Gerald Ndlovu and former Blue Ribbon skipper Daniel Kamunhenga for today’s match and probably rest young defender Eric Chipeta.
Midfielder Ocean Mpofu, who demolished Zanzibar’s Jamhuri in the 4-1 drubbing on March 4 at the Colliery, will also be out to prove his mettle in today’s crucial tie.
Veteran striker Gilbert Zulu, who sat on the bench against Jamhuri, might be weighing in to bolster the Chipangano attack.