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CAF Confederation Cup

Unlucky Azam held By disjointed Pyramids

Azam FC put in a strong defensive performance to hold Pyramids FC 0-0 in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup first-round encounter at Azam Complex Stadium on Saturday.

The Ice Cream Makers, who were more dominant in both the first and the second halves, were unlucky to not find at least a goal from the numerous chances created and the goalless draw means the second leg tie in Alexandria on October 22 will ultimately decide the team that progress to the next phase.

Azam started the match strongly and threatened in the opening minutes, with Paul Katema having a strong penalty appeal turned down, before Idris Mbombo sent a lob over goalkeeper Sherif Ahmed but saw it skip just wide of the mark.

The Tanzanians had another glaring chance – again falling to Never Tigere– in the 18th minute after a rebound from a corner kick fell kindly for the forward, but he put his header wide at the same time as taking a kick to the chest from teammate Nico Wadada.

Pyramids’ main source of attack was finding beanpole striker  Ibrahim Hassan and looking to build off his flick-ons or hold-up play. One such example created space for Ramadan shoot from the edge of the box, but he sent his effort wide in the 24th minute.

Ten minutes later Mathias Kigoya was earning his keep in his own box with an excellent intervention to deny Islaim Attia the chance to shoot.

Idris Mbombo did get a chance to go for goal a few minutes before halftime when he got on the end of a Sospeter Bajan cross, but his header flew straight into Ahmed’s hands.

The first opening of the second stanza fell to Pyramids, although Daniel Amoah did well to snuff out the danger by getting between Nabi Aly and the Azam goal.

The Egyptians created another chance for Hassan a couple of minutes before the hour mark, but after showing some nifty footwork to slide past Zulu, the forward sent his shot high and wide.

Another half-chance arrived in the 77th minute when Saad had space to get away a shot from the ‘D’ of Stars’ penalty area, but he scuffed his attempt and Kigonya and made a comfortable save.

The closest either side came to a goal was in the 84th minute: a Azam corner kick was knocked down by Ahmed  beyond the far post and substitute Ahmed Saad sent a header into the top of the crossbar.


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