Sudanese sides draw in Confed clash
Al Hilal and Al Merreikh drew 1-1 this weekend in a fiery all-Sudan CAF Confederation Cup matchday 2 top-of-the-table clash.
Visiting Merreikh had five players yellow carded, and Badr Eldeen Galag red carded midway through the first half of an Omdurman derby between the leading Sudanese football clubs.
Both goals came from foreign-born goal poachers with Nigerian Kelechi Osunwa putting Merreikh ahead in first half stoppage time and Zimbabwean Edward Sadomba striking a minute into the second half.
The clubs won their opening Group A matches in the second-tier competition and each has four points while pointless rivals InterClube of Angola and Al Ahly Shandy of Sudan play later Sunday in Luanda.
Hilal and Merreikh, who dropped down from the CAF Champions League after losing final round qualifiers, are favoured to reach the semifinals of a competition offering a $660 000 first prize.
No Sudanese club has lifted the Confederation Cup with Merreikh coming closest by reaching the 2007 final before losing home and away against CS Sfaxien of Tunisia.
Hilal and Merreikh also have the huge advantage of having to travel outside the country only once in the group phase, while 2011 semifinalists InterClube must make the long journey from Luanda to Khartoum three times.
It is a route the Angolan team already know well as they played at Merreikh two weeks ago, eliminated Sudanese side Al Amal in a qualifier, and visits to Hilal and Shandy lie ahead.
The Group B matches also produced stalemates with Wydad Casablanca of Morocco held 1-1 at home by Stade Malien of Mali while Djoliba of Mali fought back to draw 1-1 against Congolese visitors AC Leopards.
Djoliba top the table with four points having beaten Stade in a Bamako derby two weeks ago, Leopards and Wydad have two each and 2009 Confederation Cup winners Stade one.
Yassine Lakhal put Wydad ahead just before halftime at the 80 000-seat Mohamed V Stadium in commercial capital Casablanca and Moussa Coulibaly levelled three minutes from time.
Giantkillers Leopards, whose victims en route to the mini-leauge phase included two-time title holders Sfaxien, were ahead in four minutes through Rudy Guelord Bhebey-Ndey and Alou Bagayoko bagged the mid-second half equaliser.