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Tense Omdurman Derby Ends Goalless

Al Hilal Omdurman and El Merrikh played out an uneventful scoreless draw at the Al-Hilal Stadium on Thursday night.

It was a game of few chances with neither side creating a clear-cut opportunity on goal throughout and both sides appearing to settle for a share of the spoils.

The result made sure that  Florent Ibenge’s side remained top of Sudan Premier League with 34 points, three adrift from second-place Hay Al Arab after 14 matches.  

Al Merrikh are third and now have three draws from 13 matches and just two points behind their next opponent Hay Al Arab.

The result also means that both sides have kept five successive clean sheets in Sudan Premier League, although each may be slightly concerned by their lack of genuine attacking threat throughout.

Al Hilal started well and they had the first shot on goal in the ninth minute, courtesy of long-range strike from Lamin Jarju, but his effort was well saved by El Merrikh goalkeeper.

The home team continued to pile pressure and came close to opening goal in the 27th minute, when Abdul Rahman met a pass from Lilobo Maccabi, but was thrawted by El Merrikh keeper again.

The away team offered little attack throughtout the opening half, but did manage a stinging 20-yard shot on goal in the 40th minute thanks to Ramadan Ajab, but he saw his effort brilliantly saved by Al Hilal goalkeeper.

The first half ended 0-0.

El Merrikh came back a rejuvenated side at the start of the second half with Mohamed Kisra breaking through on goal four minutes in, but he failed to beat Ali Abu in a one-on one.

On  the hour mark some swift counter attacking play by Al Hilal saw Lamin Jarju dive into the box before unleashing a well-stuck shot, but he saw his effort palmed away by El Merrikh goalkeeper.

Ten minutes later El Merrikh were on the attack when Jose Macaia met a cross from the right with a header, but his effort went wide off the target.

The next decent effort on goal came in the 79th minute Brayan Angulo unleashed a long-range thunderbolt, but it sailed over Al Hilal goal.

Both sides pushed hard for a winner in the closing stages of the match, but neither could find the back of the net as the match ended goalless.

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