SUDAN WATCH: Sudan's El Merreikh v Zesco United of Zambia today at Khartoum Stadium

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sudan's El Merreikh v Zesco United of Zambia today at Khartoum Stadium

Despite a loss away to Al Hilal, the coach says Pillars will still top Group A and qualify for the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League. report by Samm Audu, Saturday 15 Aug 2009:
Kano Pillars Coach Ivo Sajh Confident Of African Champions League Qualification
Nigeria's Kano Pillars lost their leadership of Group A on Friday night, when they were defeat 2-0 by hosts Al Hilal in Omdurman, but their coach, Ivo Sajh, has expressed confidence that his team will bounce back to finish top of the standings.

"Pillars will top the group," a confident Sajh told

"Second place in the group will be between El Merreikh and Al Hilal. But after playing against both teams, El Merreikh are the better team.

"We will have our chance to avenge our defeat by Hilal in two weeks. I did not expect to lose to Al Hilal. But it's very difficult to win or a draw away from home."

Al Hilal took the lead in the 53rd minute, when Zimbabwean referee Merange Kenias awarded the home team a disputed penalty kick.

"I'm not a referee," insisted Sajh, when asked about the officiating.

"Everybody saw what happened and it was not good for football. We are a team of 11 players but we played against 14 players. These were the same referees who ensured that Al Hilal qualified for the group stage at the expense of Primeiro Agosto of Angola. All the best to referees in the future."

However, the Slovenian coach admitted his team only have themselves to blame for the second Al Hilal goal.

"The second goal was our own mistake. We did not cover the near post by the time the corner was taken. The scorer got a free header," said Sajh.

Pillars are now second in the table with four points from three matches, three adrift of new leaders Al Hilal.

The Nigerian club could slip further down the table if Sudan's El Merreikh win their home game against Zesco United of Zambia on Saturday at the Khartoum Stadium.
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