USM Alger secured a 2-1 win over Al Hilal in Omdurman on Sunday, in the first leg of their CAF Champions League semifinals tie.
The Algerians, who came from behind before claiming the full points at the final whistle, had their keeper to thank for keeping them into the game on several occasions.
Al Hilal didn’t waste time to take the lead, with Sudan international striker Mudather Eltaib El Tahir opening the scoring two minutes into the match.
Mohamed Amine Aoudia managed to equalise ten minutes later, but USMA were lucky to go level into half-time as the locals clearly dominated the first 45 minutes.
Al Hilal had several goalscoring opportunities before the break, but Mohamed Ahmed Bashir, Nasr Eldin Omer and Andre Rocha Da Silva failed to get past an excellent Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche.
The Sudanese kept on pushing after the restart, winning a penalty past the hour mark after Mohamed Aoudia committed a foul inside the box.
But Andre Rocha Da Silva’s attempt from the spot was blocked by Mohamed Zemmamouche.
And against the run of play, USM Alger took the lead for the first time thanks to early substitute Karim Baiteche in the 67th minute.
Mudather El Tahir came close to equalising eleven minutes from time, but the Algerians held onto their narrow advantage to seal a crucial victory before hosting Hilal at Stade Omar Hamadi next Saturday.
Al Hilal: Maxime Loic Feudjou, Mohamed Ahmed Bashir, Atir Magor, Boubacar Kebe, Saif Eldin Ali Idris Farah, Nazar Hamid Nassir, Mudather Eltaib, Nasr Eldin Omer, Abdel Osman, Ather El Tahir, Andre Rocha Da Silva
USM Alger: Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche, Mohamed Amine Aoudia, Farouk Chafai, Zineddine Ferhat, Kaddour Beldjilali, Charles Andriamahitsinoro, Nassereddine Khoualed, Hamza Koudri, Mohamed Benkhemassa, Brahim Boudebouda, Mohamed Meftah