Algerians Belouizdad reach last-eight 51 years after first attempt


Johannesburg (AFP) – Star Amir Sayoud scored as Algerian outfit Chabab Belouizdad secured a first CAF Champions League quarter-finals appearance Friday — 51 years after debuting in the marquee African club competition.     

The Algiers side upset Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in Pretoria through first-half goals from Sayoud and Ahmed Gasmi to finish runners-up behind the South African team in Group B.

Already-qualified Sundowns rested many regulars and the gamble backfired as they suffered a first loss in the competition this season after six victories and a draw. 

Winning in South Africa was particularly sweet for Belouizdad, who had a player red-carded after only three minutes when they met Sundowns two months ago and suffered a 5-1 hammering.

Sayoud became the leading Champions League scorer with seven goals when he gave the visitors a 29th-minute lead before Gasmi doubled the advantage in the final minute of the opening half.

There was no way back for 2016 Champions League winners Sundowns after half-time despite the presence of star forward Peter Shalulile from Namibia.

Five-time African champions TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo won for the first time in the same section, coming from behind to edge Al Hilal of Sudan 2-1 in Lubumbashi.

Edi Mugadam put Hilal ahead within two minutes only for teammate Mohamed Ouattara to concede an own-goal with 18 minutes gone.

Isaac Tshibangu scored the decisive goal on 76 minutes to end a nightmare run of three losses and two draws by Mazembe and lift them off the bottom of the table. 

Sundowns finished with 13 points, Belouizdad nine, Mazembe five and Hilal four in the first of the four groups to be completed. 

The final Group A matches were all about pride as Simba of Tanzania and defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt qualified for the quarter-finals last weekend.

Ahly avenged an away loss to Simba by winning 1-0 in Cairo through a 32nd-minute goal from Mohamed Sherif, his third of the campaign.

Although Ahly scored 11 goals in the group stage — more than any other club so far — South African coach Pitso Mosimane is seeking a prolific scorer with Shalulile a possible target.

A disappointing campaign by V Club of DR Congo finished on a happy note as second-half goals from Fiston Mayele and Ricky Tulengi produced a 3-1 win over Al Merrikh of Sudan in Kinshasa

Simba, whose multi-national squad is coached by France-born Didier Gomes da Rosa, topped the table with 13 points, followed by Ahly (11), V Club (7) and Merrikh (2).

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