Sudan heavyweights Al-Merreikh needed a 1-0 victory to overturn a 2-1 first leg loss to Express FC to realize their ambition of progressing to the second preliminary round stage of the 2021/22 CAF Champions League.
Ahmed Hamid scored the lone goal in minute 74 of a match that was played on Sunday, September 19 at the Al-Ubayyid Stadium. An encounter that was characterized by lack of offensive quality.
It was indeed a showdown limited in offensive action from the get go and throughout the first stanza with neither side able to afford a clear cut chance at goal.
The restart saw a little bit of intensity from the hosts whose motives to win the game were clearly manifested in their constant threats at the opposition goal but for the resilience of the home team that sucked in the pressure.
The Red Eagles custodian Joel Mutakubwa was called into action in the 65th minute and made a fantastic save, bringing the ball back into play and to the dismay of Al-Merreikh who couldn’t rebound the ball into the back of the net.
The visitors would eventually succumb to pressure when they failed to counter a defence splitting pass to Ahmed who beat Mutakubwa to score the game’s only goal and in the 74th minute.
The final whistle would confirm that despite winning the first leg encounter 2-1 at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende last week, the reigning Uganda Premier League champions bowed out on away goals rule.
It also confirmed that this slim victory by the Sudanese ensured that the two-legged tie ended with an aggregate score of 2-2. For prizes for guessing who the result favours.
Wasswa Bbosa’s team will now shift their focus to the semifinals of the Stanbic Uganda Cup where they take on BUL FC. A game which they will approach as favourites given their exposures.
In the second preliminary round of the competition, Al-Merreikh will face off with Zambia’s Zanaco who eliminated Equatorial Guinea’s Akonangui 3-0 on aggregate.