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Alger end Gallants’ dream run in CAF Confederation Cup

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USM ALger players celebrate their win over Gallants. PHOTO/USM Alger
  • Algeria’s USM Alger beat Marumo Gallants 2-0
  • Gallants had won their first two matches
  • FAR Rabat also won to go top of Group C

South African debutants Marumo Gallants’ dream start to the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup was ended after they suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Algeria’s USM Alger. The Algerians were efficient as they earned a second win in three matches to remain top of Group A with seven points.

Abderrahmane Meziane and Zinnedine Bellaid scored in either half for the Algerians. Gallants remained second in the group with six points from their first to wins in a row.

Meziane was a constant thorn for Gallants and he broke the deadlock in the 38th minute with a sweet curling effort from the edge of the area. The ball had fallen kindly in his path after Gallants desperately tried to clear following the keeper’s brilliant save to deny Belaid’s header from a corner.

In the second half, Meziane continued troubling Gallants, first having a shot from the edge parried away by the keeper before his freekick was also pushed away by the shot stopper.

Alger completed the victory late on in the 89th minute, Bellaid finally having his goal from a setpiece.

Meanwhile, DR Congo’s St Elloi Lupopo pic ked their first win in Group A after edging out Libya’s AL Akhdar 1-0. The Libyans remain bottom of the group after two defeats and a draw.

The only goal of the match was scored by striker Emmanuel Lopota in the second minute of added time in the first half, handing them a much-needed victory following back to back losses.

FAR Rabat beats Egypt’s Future

Elsewhere in Rabat, hosts FAR were 2-0 winners over Egyptian debutants Future FC. Goals in either half from Igmane Hamza and Lamine Diakite earned the hosts maximum points as they moved to seven points on top of Group C.

The victory saw Rabat remain top of Group C with seven points while Future are third with two points off their opening two draws.

Hamza broke the deadlock for FAR on the half hour mark when he volleyed home from inside the box after the Future keeper punched a corner right into his path. The Moroccans had started the match well and dominated, with Ahmed Hammoudan having earlier forced the keeper to a good save with a shot from distance.

The Egyptian side’s best chance fell on Mohamed Farouk whose strike from the right was well saved by the keeper. In the second half, Future piled pressure for an equalizer, but they couldn’t land the ball into the net.

It was the home side who would score next, Ivorian Diakite hitting the back of the net in the second minute of added time.

Pyramids edge out Kara in Cairo

In Cairo, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef’s goal in the first half was all Pyramids needed to edge out Togo’s Kara to remain second in the group with six points, one behind their rivals Rabat. Youssef powered home a header in the 28th minute when skipper Abdallah Said’s cross found him at the edge of the six yard box.

Said had an opportunity at goal himself when he swung an effort on the volley from distance, but the keeper made a good save.

Kara piled the pressure, forcing Pyramids into their own half in the second half, but they couldn’t get a way back into the match.

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