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CAF Champions League

Express Claim First-Leg Advantage Over Al Merreikh

Express FC claimed the scalp of Al Merreikh on Friday afternoon, winning their 2021/2022 CAF Champions League preliminary round first-leg clash 2-1 at St Mary’s Stadium in Kampala, Uganda.

The Red Eagles secured victory thanks to Erick Kambale and Martin Kizza goals, with the result giving them an advantage before the second leg clash set to be played in Khartoum next weekend.

Express claimed the lead in the seventh minute, with Kaballe getting on the end of beautiful pass from Yaya Kakooza before sending a powerful shot which goalkeeper Salman Abuzaid failed to keep out at his near post.

Elsamani Saadelin tried his luck range in the 22nd minute but the Red Castles midfielder volleyed his effort well over the crossbar.

Edjomariegwe Omayarue tried his luck with a free kick from distance but the Al Merreikh striker fired his effort well over the bar.

Express went on to create further opportunities to add to the score line, but their failure to capitalise on their momentum and dominance was punished on the 38th minute when Bakri Abd Elgadir made it 1-1 with a beautiful finish.

Godfrey Lwesibawa came close to increasing the home side’s lead just before the halftime break but the striker fired an effort into the side-netting from close range.

Red Eagles

The second half saw the pace of the game slow to acrawl, which very much suited the North African visitors and caused frustrations to boil over for Red Eagles. Yet on the hour mark they reclaimed the lead through a superb strike from Martin Kizza.

After a quiet spell in the game Ahmed Hamed Mahmoud tried his luck from the edge of the area in the 69th minute, but the striker fired his effort straight at Joel Mutakubwa.

Musa Mahjoub Dhiya squandered a great chance in the 78th minute as the Sudanese international headed wide from close range.

The visitors failed to create any openings in the final stages as Express Red Eagles held on for the win that marked their return to CAF Champions League after 34 years wait.

How they lined up:

Express XI: Joel Mutakubwa (G.K), Enock Walusimbi (Captain), Arthur Kiggundu, Isa Lumu, Murushid Juuko, Daniel Shabena, Yaya Kakooza, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Martin Kizza, Erick Kambale

Al Merrikh XI: Salman Abuzaid (G.K), Ahmed Ahmed, Suliman Kamal, Ahmed Mohamed, Mahmoud Salaheldin, Musa Mahjoub Dhiya, Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Idris, Elsamani Saadelin, Hussein Nooh Al-Gozoli, Bakri Abd Elgadir, Tony Edjomariegwe Omayarue


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