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Atletico - Al Ahly 1:3
CR Belouizdad - ASEC
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
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
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
ASEC Abidjan - Al Ahly
match report on extra-page
top two will qualify for
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
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
But with a 5 point gap between
the two and only 2 matches to go an unlikely scenario.
top two will qualify for
Ahly - Petro Atletico 2:4 *Petro Atletico qualify for semi-finals
ASEC - CR Belouizdad
top two will qualify for
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
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)
top two qualify for semifinals