Al Merrikh Held To A Goalless Draw By Sundowns
Al Merrikh were held to a goalless draw by Mamelodi Sundowns in their African Champions League, Group A match at Al Salaam Stadium on Saturday.
It was Sundowns who looked the livelier side an carved out the first opportunity in the eighth minute but Peter Shalulile sliced his effort wide of goal.
Themba Zwane delivered in a quality free kick in the 15th minute but defender Brian Onyango’s near-post flick sailed over the bar.
In the 30th minute the game saw its first shot on target as Jazouli Noah smashed the ball from outside the area, but Denis Onyango did well to save.
Sundowns put some pressure on Al Merrikh as they threatened again with Erwin Saavedra warming Monged’s hands three minutes after the first attempt on target.
The hosts had some momentum behind them and came close again as Cortzee played Shalulile through, but his shot was wide of the near post.
Ramadan Agab had a shot on target for Merrikh but it was tame and Onyango saved easily. Ahmed Adam then saw arguably the best chance of the half when he shot from the angle, but Onyango was up to the task.
Sundowns had an early chance in the second half when a cross from the right picked out Andile Jali at the far post, but he couldn’t control the ball with his chest and the opportunity went begging.
Noah instigated a number of attacks for the home side, often setting up the likes of Ammar Toifur, but his shots at goal lacked precision.
Tajedlin Badawi came off the bench to replace Edjomariegwe and almost made an immediate impact as he crossed for Awad Abdallah, but his shot went just wide of the far post.
Sundowns had their best chance of the game in the 79th minute when a terrific cross from Jali found Shalulile in the area, but the forward directed his header onto the near post.
Al Merrikh had a late chance via Bakhit Khamis who was one-on-one with Onyango, but the goalkeeper pulled off another good save to claim a point for Sundowns.