USMA's Zineddine Ferhat vies with Abdel Osman of Al Hilal (Photo: USMA.dz)
Wednesday Sep 30, 2015. 13:51
USM Alger are 90 minutes away from a place in the CAF Champions League final as they take a 2-1 advantage into the second leg of their semifinal tie against Al Hilal in Bologhine on Saturday
One goal down after just two minutes in Omdurman in the first leg last Sunday, courtesy of Sudan international striker Mudather Eltaib El Tahir, the Algerians managed to level matters ten minutes later through Mohamed Amine Aoudia before scoring the winner in the 67th
minute, thanks to first-half substitute Karim Baïtèche.
Al Hilal dominated most of the match, but a world-class performance from USMA keeper Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche, who saved a penalty in the second half, inspired the visitors to a major upset.
The ‘Red and Black’ will now be looking to finish the job in front of their home crowd, in their bid to reach their first continental final ever.
“We have not qualified yet, we have 90 minutes left to play,” Algeria U-23 international midfielder Mohamed Benkhemassa told competition.dz
“We faced a very good Al Hilal side and we are expected a tough game in Algiers. We need to give 100 percent to seal our ticket for the final of the prestigious continental competition,” he added.
USMA coach Miloud Hamdi will have to cope with the absence of playmaker Kaddour Beldjilali, who suffered an early shoulder injury in the first leg.
However, the Khartoum giants still believe in their chances to qualify for their third final in the competition, having already recorded a runners-up finish in the 1987 and 1992 editions.
“The defeat in Khartoum dented our chances, but the qualification remains within our reach,” Hilal boss Nabil El-Kouki toldcompetition.dz
“In my opinion, we have what it takes to win in Algiers.”
The match will kick off at Stade Omar Hamadi at 22h30
CAT on Saturday 3 October 2015.