H Metro

Al Merrikh, AS Vita in battle


AL MERRIKH and AS Vita will be in a battle to bounce back from opening defeats in Group A of the CAF Champions League when they meet at the Al Hilal Stadium in Omdurman today.

Kick-off is at 3pm CAT.

The Sudanese hosts opened their group stage campaign with a 3-0 loss away to Egyptian heavyweigh­ts and current African kings Al Ahly last week, a result which leaves them at the bottom of the standings.

Coach Nasreddine Nabi talked up taking a positive approach against the Cairo side, but admits his team was outplayed and will need to produce a better performanc­e when Vita come to North East Africa.

“We respected Al Ahly, playing t achieve a positive result, but this is not what happened in the game,” said the Tunisian tactician, who recently replaced Didier Gomes da Rosa at the helm of the club. “We will improve for our second game, which will be played on home soil.”

DR Congo side AS Vita also suffered a defeat in their group opener, succumbing 1-0 at home to Tanzania’s Simba SC on February 12 in something of a surprise result. The visitors’ goal came from a second-half penalty converted by Mutshimba Mugalu.

“My team was the second best against Simba, we did not play the way I would have wanted us to play and Simba took the advantage to punish us because they mastered the game very fast and dominated us,” admitted Vita coach Florent Ibenge.

“My players also failed to rise to the occasion, their performanc­e was below per, none of my players tried to pick himself up, and it became difficult for us to counter them.”

Algerian referee Mustapha Ghorbal will be on charge of this match in Sudan. The other Group A match scheduled today 23 February sees Simba host Al Ahly in Dar es Salaam. — SuperSport.

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