Egyptian side El Masry are eyeing a historical mini-league stage berth when they host to Gabonese side Mounana on Tuesday in Port Said. Masry, who are having their second consecutive appearance in the second-tier continental club competition exited last year's edition at the same stage, and will be hoping to come out unscathed and reach the group stage for the first time.
The first leg in Libreville fortnight ago ended in a 1-1 draw. Forward Ahmed Gomaa gave the Egyptians an early lead and a vital away goal after 15 minutes, only for Mounana's striker Abdou Djamilou Atchabao to draw level on 56 minutes. A barren draw will be enough to see Masry through to the group stage via away goals.
We played a good game in Libreville and deserved to win, Masry coach Hossam Hassan told CAFOnline.com as his fine-tune for the crucial second leg clash of the 2nd 1/16th round.
We suffered from the climate and humidity in Gabon, but still took the lead and were about to win, but for our goalkeeper's (Ahmed Masoud) blunder.
Hassan who is an icon in Egyptian football has urged his players to finish the job in Port Said, where at least 10,000 of their enthusiastic supporters are expected to be in the stands.
We just played one half, and there is still a second half in Port Said. We can win and qualify to the group stage for the first time in El Masry's history. This is going to be a great feat and I believe we deserve to do that, added Hassan.
Mounana's last trip to Egypt remains one to forget. The Gabonese side lost to giants Al Ahly 4-0 in Cairo, before suffering another 3-1 defeat at home to get relegated from the prestigious CAF Champions League. T
They will be aiming for a better result in Port Said, about 200-kilometres from Cairo, in their quest for a consecutive appearance in the group stage.
Meanwhile, the draw for the group stage has been scheduled for Saturday, 21 April 2018 at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football