USM Alger are 90 minutes
away from a place in the CAF
Champions League final as they
take a 2-1 advantage into the
second leg of their semifinal tie
against Al Hilal in Bologhine
today.
One goal down after just two
minutes in Omdurman in the first
leg last Sunday, courtesy of Sudan
international striker Mudather
Eltaib El Tahir, the Algerians
managed to level matters ten
minutes later through Mohamed
Amine Aoudia before scoring the
winner in the 67th minute, thanks
to first-half substitute Karim
Baïtèche.
Al Hilal dominated most of
the match, but a world-class
performance from USMA
keeper Mohamed Lamine
Zemmamouche, who saved
a penalty in the second half,
inspired the visitors to a major
upset.
The ‘Red and Black’ will now
be looking to finish the job in
front of their home crowd, in their
bid to reach their first continental
final ever.
“We have not qualified yet,
we have 90 minutes left to
play,” Algeria U-23 international
midfielder Mohamed
Benkhemassa told competition.
dz.
“We faced a very good Al Hilal
side and we are expected a tough
game in Algiers. We need to give
100 per cent to seal our ticket
for the final of the prestigious
continental competition,” he
added.
USMA coach Miloud Hamdi
will have to cope with the absence
of playmaker Kaddour Beldjilali,
who suffered an early shoulder
injury in the first leg.
However, the Khartoum giants
still believe in their chances to
qualify for their third final in
the competition, having already
recorded a runner-up finish in the
1987 and 1992 editions.
“The defeat in Khartoum
dented our chances, but the
qualification remains within our
reach,” Hilal boss Nabil El-Kouki
toldcompetition.dz.
“In my opinion, we have what
it takes to win in Algiers.”
Confederation Cup: Zamalek
face uphill task in Cairo
Zamalek will have to overturn
a four-goal deficit against Etoile
du Sahel in Cairo today, in the
return leg of their Confederation
Cup semifinal tie.
The White Knights suffered a
humbling 5-1 defeat at the hands
of the Tunisians in Sousse in the
first leg, to seriously dent their
hopes of securing an historic
treble.
Marouane Tej and Baghdad
Bounedjah gave Etoile a twogoal
lead eleven minutes into the
match, and while Zamalek starlet
Ayman Hefni managed to pull
one back half-way through the
first stanza, Alaya Brigui made
sure to restore his side’s two-goal
cushion before the break.
Marouane Tej’s second strike
and Saddam Ben Aziza completed
the rout with two more goals in
the second half, to see Zamalek
suffer their heaviest continental
loss since a 5-1 demolition by
Asante Kotoko in the 1987
edition of Africa’s foremost club
competition.
However, Faouzi Benzarti’s
men ruled out any complacency
in their bid for Confederation
Cup glory.
“It is never easy to score five
goals to Zamalek. But it is what
we have achieved brilliantly,”
Etoile striker Baghdad Bounedjah
told the media.
“We managed to remain focused
until the end. The strength of the
collective made the difference.
Our coach deserves the full
credit, we made huge progress
with him.
“We need to finish the job on
Saturday, whilst still keeping our
feet on the ground.”
Meanwhile, the White Knights
keep their hopes alive despite
the nearly impossible task lying
ahead of them.
“The defeat is heavy and
difficult to stomach, but we are
talking about football where
everything is possible,” Zamalek
chairman Mortada Mansour
commented.
“We have to overturn this huge
deficit in Cairo. It is a task we
can accomplish. The result is not
definitive.”
The game, which is expected
to be played behind closed
doors, will kick off at Petro
Sport Stadium at 20h30 CAT on
Saturday 3 October 2015.


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