Saturday, April 1, 2023

Hilal waste chance, Holders Wydad into TotalEnergies CAF CL quarters


Athar El Tahir missed a last gasp penalty as Sudanese side Al Hilal missed out on an opportunity to qualify for the quarter finals of the CAF Champions League after being held by South African side Sundowns on Saturday.

Hilal had come from a goal down to level 1-1 and were awarded a 90th minute penalty after Mohamed Yasser was brought down inside the box.

However, El Tahir took a tame kick which was saved by Sundowns keeper Ronwen Williams, atoning for his mistake that led to the hosts’ equalizer.

With the point from the match, Hilal are on 10 points, three ahead of third placed Al Ahly whom they face in the last match in Cairo. Hilal will go through with a point away from home, but a loss of more than two goals will see them bow out.

Captain Mohamed Abdelrahman had scored the equalizer five minutes after Khuliso Mudau had given Masandawana the lead. The skipper made the most of a mistake from Downs keeper Williams, dispossessing him of the ball a yard from goal and tapping home.

Sundowns had broken the deadlock in the 67th minute when Mudau reacted fasted to a rebound after the Hilal keeper had spilled Aubrey Modiba’s freekick from range.

Just after scoring the equalizer, Hilal had a good chance to score the second when Makabi Lilepo made a good run on the right and cut back to his left, but his curling effort blew over.

The game had broken into life in the second half, after some few opportunities in the opening 45 minutes. Lilepo had a good chance after 10 minutes when he raced into a long ball but his shot on the volley was saved.

Three minutes later he had another good opportunity when he broke into the box on the counter, but his curling effort was saved by Williams.

Sundowns had come chances, Teboho Mokoena forcing the keeper to a good save with a drive from range.

Elsewhere, defending champions Wydad Athletic Club have progressed to the quarter finals after playing to a 0-0 draw with DR Congo’s AS vita Club whose hopes have now diminished.

The point took Wydad to 10 points and an unassailable lead from third place with one match left to play.


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