Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Champions League wrap

Kano Pillars of Nigeria have turned up the heat on the leaders in their African Champions League Group A with a 2-1 victory over Sudanese side Al Hilal on Sunday.

The win takes Pillars to seven points, level with Al Hilal, but placed in second on goal-difference, two points ahead of Zesco United, who drew 0-0 at home with Al-Merreikh.

Things looked to be going Al Hilal’s way early on at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano as Saif Idris Farah gave the visitors the lead after 20 minutes.

But the home side drew level on the stroke of halftime through Gambo Mohammed and the comeback was complete when Moses Ogaga netted 17 minutes from time.

Pillars will be at home again in their next encounter as they host Zesco United on September 13, while Al Hilal will host their great Sudanese rivals Al-Merreikh two days earlier.

Meantime, Zambia’s Zesco United have missed the chance to keep up with the leaders in their African Champions League Group A when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Sudanese strugglers Al Merreikh in Lusaka on Sunday.

The result means Zesco are two points behind group leaders Al Hilal and Kano Pillars, and face the daunting task of a trip to Nigeria for their next match on September 13.

The point was just the second in the group stages for Al Merreikh, who realistically needed a win to keep their hopes of finishing in the top two and qualifying for the semifinals alive.

The home side had the majority of the possession, but found their visitors in a stubborn mood, unwilling to commit players forward and relying on hitting their hosts on the break.

But try as they might, Zesco could not penetrate the Al Merreikh and in the end had to be happy with a point that leaves them in third place in the group.