Caf Confederation Cup Group B review: RS Berkane stun Al-Hilal, Al-Masry upstage UD Songo

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Ahmed Gomaa hit a double to help Al-Masry overpower visiting UD Songo 2-0 and assume an early lead in Group B on Sunday

Although their gap at the top is slim on goal difference after group fellows RS Berkane beat Al-Hilal 1-0 in Morocco, Al-Masry were imposing and gave impressions of group favourites at the Port Said Stadium.

Egypt World Cup hopeful Gomaa was the toast of the evening, scoring in either half against their Mozambican opponents who are making a debut appearance in the Confederation Cup.

Gomaa separated the two sides, first scoring on 36 minutes when he headed in substitute Mohamed ‘Grendo’ Abdel-Latif’s cross past a hapless Leonel Pendula in goal for Songo.

Grendo was again the provider when he sent through Gomaa who clinically finished at close-range seven minutes into the second half to seal his double.

The visitors were never a real threat for the Egyptians who commanded play from the first whistle.

Islam Salah and Grendo saw their efforts crash against the woodwork in the first half while their opponents barely troubled them even in the second stanza.

Al-Masry will now try to continue with the tonic they have set when they travel to Omdurman for a 16 May date with Al-Hilal in their second match of the group.

In Morocco, RS Berkane stunned seasoned African campaigners Al-Hilal at Stade Municipal de Berkane.

Togo international Fo-Doh Kodjo Laba struck as early as the second minute to decide the game and help Berkane settle on second spot on the log with an inferior goal-difference to leaders Al-Masry.

It was the on-fire Morocco international striker Ayoub El Kaabi who fed Laba for the goal.

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The Sudanese visitors however wedged a spirited fight in their attempt to hit back, coming close through Mohamed Bashir whose effort was thwarted by the home side’s goalkeeper Abdelali M’Hamdi.

After the break Bakr El Helali could have doubled Berkane’s advantage but shot just wide on 58 minutes while an impressive M’Hamdi again foiled Bashir whom he faced one-on-one.

Substitute Houssam Amaanan could have killed the match as a contest for the hosts late on but was denied by the post and Berkane managed to hold on to their lead ahead of their visit to Mozambique to face UD Songo in their next match.

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