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Al Hilal Humble Platinum As Etoile Scrape Win Against Al Ahly

Sudan’s representatives Al Hilal on Friday began their CAF Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-1 win over Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum.

Sudan’s representatives Al Hilal on Friday began their CAF Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-1 win over Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum.

Mohammed Musa Eldai scored a brace to give Al Hilal their first win in the group stages of the competition.

The first ten minutes of the match lacked clear-cut chances with just a couple of opportunities created by both sides. Platinum had their first chance to open the scores in the 15th minute. Never Tigere broke lose but his goal-bound shot was blocked for a fruitless corner.

One minute later Gift Mbwite had his goal-bound header saved by Ugandan goalkeeper Jamal Salim as the Zimbabweans fought hard for victory.

Al Hilal midfielder Faris Abdallah picked out Mohammed with a clinical cross in the 25th minute, but the latter failed to score. A minute later, the Blues efforts were rewarded when Eldai flew in with a header at the back post to connect to a Faris Abdallah cross from the left.

The Sudanese thought they had made it 2-0 three minutes later through Mohamed Darag but the goal was ruled offside by the centre referee.

In the second half, Al Hilal continued dominating the game as they looked to extend their lead. In the 48th minute, Francis Tizayi was forced into a save after Abua Abdalla goal-bound header from a cross almost caught him unawares.

Al Hilal efforts paid off again 20 minutes to the final whistle when Eldai headed in a Mohammed Mohktar cross after the initial ball came off the bar.

The Platinum miners netted a consolation in the 81st minute with Never Tegere’s free-kick from range catching keeper Salim off-guard.

Elsewhere, Yassine Chikhaoui scored the only goal of the match to hand in Etoile du Sahel a slim win over visiting on form Al Ahly in a Group D match played at the Stade du 1er Novembre 1954.

Al Ahly saw much of the possession in the first ten minutes of the game but failed to beat Etoile’s defence. The first real chance of the game went the Red Devil’s way as Junior Ajayi got a one on one with keeper Achraf Krir but the forward was denied with a brilliant save.

A chance for the hosts came after some minutes of play as Malek Baayou delivered a beautiful corner into the box. Mohammed Anis rose high but his header narrowly missed the target.

In the second half, Etoile were ahead, thanks to Yassine Chikhaoui. He chested Mohamed Methnani’s cross before smashing it into the net.

The victory took the Tunisia side to the second position in Group B standings, while Egypt’s Al Ahly are placed at the bottom of the table with zero points.

Ahly will entertain Sudan’s Al Hilal next Friday in Cairo, while Etoile travels to Harare to face Zimbabwe’s Platinum. Al Hilal emerged 2-1 victorious in a simultaneous kick-off in Omdurman.

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