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The African Champions League 2001
Group B

All groups, all matches:
African Champions League 2001
schedule + results
knock-out rounds
Group A
Group B
actual result and report updates during the weekends in THE SHOT LIVE
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Petro Atletico - Al Ahly  1:3
CR Belouizdad - ASEC Abidjan 1:1

Al Ahly - CR Belouizdad 1:0
Al Ahly with a lot of troubles against the Algerians and a worked out victory lacking brilliance.
ASEC - Petro Atletico 1:2  (halftime 0:1)
A perfect video for every coach.
ASEC Abidjan are famous for their associated player academy, regularly losing the best of those players coming out of that school to Europe.
But the team came up with a stunning display of their breathtaking talents anyway. An exciting show of football skills and - tactical deficits of the young stars.
One of the continuing problems seem to be the impact in goalscoring. So ASEC dominated the game, applied an enormous pressure in the second half, but failed to convert an inspired opening of the attacks into chances or chances into goals. The equalizer eventually came from a set piece, a corner.
Petro Atletico, quite qell organised, only had a few counter attacks, but they all threw the Ivorian defence into complete confusion. One of the mistakes of the home team was that midfielders didn't go back to defend, so the defenders were sometimes outnumbered on those counter attacks. Some nice passing easily set an Angolan attacker free, even when only attacking with few players.
So Petro Atletico won the match with only a few attacks but with a smart team play. A sector ASEC necessarily has to have problems with - the drain of players forces them to a continuing rebuild of the team.
In the end ASEC might have been the most exciting team to watch and miss out on the semifinals anyway.
CR Beloiuizdad - Petro Atletico  0:1

It already had seemed as if no team could capitalize from the defensive blunders of each others opponents. But in the 88th minutes a half high corner went through the entire players crowd in front of the hosts goal untouched, to find an Angolan attacker all alone at the second goal post to score into the deserted goal. 
In another less convincing match of this years Champions League it were Petro Atletico who had a few impressing moments when running their counter attacks in the second half. A good number of sometimes rough tactical fouls interrupted the run of play.
ASEC Abidjan - Al Ahly  1:0
> detailed match report on extra-page
Al Ahly  3 4-2 6
Petro Atletico  3 4-4 6
ASEC Abidjan  3 3-3 4
CR Belouizdad  3 1-3 1
top two will qualify for semifinals
Petro Atletico - CR Belouizdad  2:1

Petro Atletico scored twice early and defended the advantage throughout the rest of the match. The Algerians, who were not satisfied with refereeing, came close to scoring a few times but needed until the 87th minute to do so.
They are now mathematically out of the semifinal picture. With 8 points gap to the Portuguese and to Al Ahly and only 2 matches to go they are left without any chance.
Though 5 points back ASEC Abidjan can still qualify: They need to beat CR Belouizdad at home and win at Petro Atletico by 2 goals (or some special 1 goal scenarios). Then they need either Al Ahly not to lose against Petro Atletico or, f they do, not to win also at Belouizdad in their last match.
Al Ahly Cairo - ASEC Abidjan  2:1
Al Ahly with the more distinct game, took the lead in first half from a set play, a free kick cross and a header. ASEC who had looked teethless in attack, came out a little more sharp after halftime, though still rather only threatening with long range attempts. A fine combination during a fast attack quickly took Al Ahly 2:0 up with their first attack in the second half after 50 minutes. 
Again, like in the first match, ASEC players with all their skills were able to produce several fouls against them, but no clearcut chance out of the game.
So logically it was a penalty ahich cut the Egyptian lead to one after 65 minutes. Another situation inside the Egyptian penalty area only a few minutes later looked dangerous but this time the referee said no. 
Al Ahly played disciplined and quite smart, but not brilliantly, otherwise they could have increased the margin in one of the various counter situationthe Ivorians offered. The biggest opportunity came in injury time when an attempt only missed the goal only by centimeters with the keeper already beaten.
The actual result could become important: if both teams end up level on points, not goaldifference but direct result has been declared as tiebreaker earlier this year by CAF. And this tie-breaker is now on the side of ASEC because of the away goal rule.
But with a 5 point gap between the two and only 2 matches to go an unlikely scenario.
Al Ahly  4 6-3 9
Petro Atletico  4 6-5 9
ASEC Abidjan  4 4-5 4
CR Belouizdad  4 2-5 1
top two will qualify for semifinals
Al Ahly - Petro Atletico 2:4 *Petro Atletico qualify for semi-finals

ASEC - CR Belouizdad 7:0
Petro Atletico  5 10-7 12
Al Ahly  5 8-7 9
ASEC Abidjan  5 11-5 7
CR Belouizdad  5 2-12 1
top two will qualify for semifinals

Oct 21
CR Belouizdad - Al Ahly  0:1 - Al Ahly have qualified for semi-finals
Al Ahly survived several goal mouth scrambles early second half when the home team were pressuring much stronger. The expected hot atmosphere rather reminded of a friendly match as the Algerians had nothing much to play for. Al Ahly had few but occasionaly dangerous counter opportunities.
They will play Espérance Tunis in the semi-finals
Petro Atletico - ASEC Abidjan  0:1
ASEC have had a penalty saved (2nd half) and a second penalty converted with only a few minutes to go. In comparison with Al Ahly the Ivorians end up exactly those two points short they did not win in their first away match at Algeria. Then considered as success, in the end the only point Belouizdad have won in the group phase. 
(It is not an unusual story by the way, several times a careful first away match has been responsible for missing points in the end - another example is the Ivorian Olympic qualifier campaign for Sydney 2000 which began with a draw at Tunisia)
Esperance*  6 8-7 9
Sundowns*  6 2-2 9
Julius Berger  6 6-6 7
TP Mazembe  6 5-6 7
top two qualify for semifinals

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