OMDURMAN / ALGIERS (News Wires) – Title holders al-Ahly of Egypt reached the 2020-21 Total CAF Champions League (CL) quarter-finals after holding their Sudanese hosts el-Merriekeh to a 2-2 draw in Omdurman, guaranteeing second place of Group A. Also Egyptian giants Zamalek revived their hopes of qualifying to the quarter-finals after a 2-0 win away to MC Alger in Algiers, Cafonline.com reported.
Tanzania’s Simba outscored their DR Congo visitors AS Vita Club 4-1 in Dar es Salaam, while al-Ahly scored twice in the final 10 minutes to comeback from two goals behind and hold el-Merriekeh to draw in Omdurman.
Simba raised their tally to 13 and secured Group A top spot, while al-Ahly has eight points in second place before the Red Devils lock horns in Cairo next Friday. AS Vita follows with four points while Merriekh has two points with one match to go.
Holders al-Ahly was shocked in the opening half, and was lucky to finish it trailing by just two goals. But they produced a late comeback to finish with a point that secured their place in the final eight.
Merriekh took the lead after 26 minutes when skipper Ramadan Agab’s header from a long range freekick deceived Ahly’s goalkeeper and Captain Mohamed el-Shennawy.
Ten minutes later it became 2-0, when Saifeddine Malik finished a swift counterattack with Ahly players left astonished.
It could have been 3-0 just before half-time when Malik was fouled inside the area by Badr Benoun. But Agab’s shot from the spot just missed the target.
After the break, al-Ahly threw everything in attack as they tried to master a comeback. Yet it was the hosts who missed the chance to kill the game with el-Shenawy stopping them in a couple of occasions.
Nine minutes from time, Ayman Asharf was fouled inside the area, and from the spot, Benoun made no mistake to half the deficit.
Deep into injury time, defender Yasser Ibrahim rose high to head home from Mohamed Magdy “Afsha” cross to secure al-Ahly a late point and guarantee they continue their title defense campaign.
In other group A game, Simba dominated their game against AS Vita in Dar es Salaam, with a “Man of the Match” performance from Luis Miquissone. The Mozambican broke the deadlock for the hosts at the half hour mark, but for Zemanga Soze to restore parity a couple of minutes later.
Clatous Chama made it 2-1 to the hosts just before half-time finishing a brilliant teamwork.
After the break, Simba continued to dominate, and added a third goal through Larry Bwalya after the 66th minutes. Clatous Chama completed his brace and put the cherry over Simba’s cake six minutes from full time, as the Tanzanians celebrated topping the group in style.
Zamalek revives quarters hopes
Zamalek of Egypt revived their hopes of qualifying to the quarter-finals after a 2-0 win away to MC Alger. The victory saw Zamalek moved to five points, three behind second placed Alger in Group D.
Zamalek, runners-up to al-Ahly last season, will squeeze into the last eight if they win at home to Teungueth next Saturday and Alger is beaten away to Esperance.
The White Knights got into the lead in the seventh minute when Youssef Obama struck the ball into the roof of the net after being picked out by a decent cut back from Achraf Bencharki.
They doubled their tally in the 33rd minute through experienced forward Mahmoud Shikabala who struck a low shot into the bottom left after cutting in to his favourite left foot inside the box.
Earlier on the day, Baye Diop scored the winner as Senegalese debutants Teungueth came from a goal down to beat Esperance 2-1 and clinch their first ever group stage victory of the CAF Champions League.
Esperance has already booked a ticket into the quarter finals, while Senegalese champions Teungueth is already eliminated from contention.
Teungueth ensured they picked at least a win from the group, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 against the league leaders in Dakar.
Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane had given Esperance the lead with a well struck freekick, but Teungueth rallied to equalize before half time through Serigne Niang, while Diop scored the winner that took them off bottom spot.
Romdhane opened the scoring with an exquisite freekick into the top left corner after 28 minutes. However the home side rallied and was level after 37 minutes when Niang scored with an overhead kick after a cross from the left was deflected to give the ball some elevation.
Esperance almost went back into the lead just 38 seconds into the second half when a cross from the left found William Togui well placed a yard off goal, but a slight touch by a defender put him off the ball and his eventual tap in from close range went over the bar.