Caf Confederation Cup review: Nkana edge Al Hilal in Kitwe, Zamalek and Etoile winless run continue

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Nkana came from behind to beat visiting Sudanese giants Al Hilal 2-1 as Zamalek and Etoile du Sahel fail to win again

Walter Bwalya struck Nkana’s winning goal against Al Hilal, who almost stole victory at the Nkana Stadium, but the Zambians stretched their unbeaten home run in Caf inter-club competitions to an astonishing 57 matches.

It was recovery for Nkana, who lost their Group C opener to Zambian rivals Zesco United.

The day almost belonged to Al Hilal, who took the lead seven minutes into the match through Waleed Bakhet Hamid.

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Interestingly, Hamid scored off an assist from former Nkana striker Idris Mbombo, who was a constant threat to his former paymasters.

But Freddy Tshimenga replied for the hosts in the 14th minute to ensure that the score was 1-1 at half-time.

Both sides were stern in their defending after the restart with Nkana goalkeeper Kelvin Malunga saving a barrage of attacks from Al Hilal, while his Ugandan opposite number Jamal Salim also kept the visitors in the contest.

But it was Nkana captain Bwalya, who had the final say 15 minutes from time with the winner after being set up by his namesake Simon Bwalya.

The result saw Al Hilal losing their first match in the group stage after beating Asante Kotoko 1-0 in their last game.

Defending champions Raja Casablanca went for another match without winning after being held to a goalless draw by AS Otoho at home in Group A encounter.

After drawing 1-1 with fellow Moroccan side Hassania Agadir in their first match, Raja again failed to collect maximum points.

It was coach Patrice Carteron’s first game in charge of Raja and turned out to be a slow start for the Frenchman.

Raja are on third spot in the group with just two points from as many games. In another Group A match, RSB Berkane shot two points clear at the top with a 2-1 win over Hassania Agadir in another Moroccan affair.

Alain Traore beat the halftime whistle to help Berkane equalise in the first half stoppage time after Ayoub Mallouki had put thrust Hassania Agadir ahead a minute earlier.

Traore’s Burkinabe compatriot Issoufou Dayo the grabbed the winner for Berkane in the 69th minute and his side secure their first win in the group stage.

With the loss, Hassania Agadir slid down to the bottom of the group with just a point. Elsewhere, Egyptian giants Zamalek failed to win for the second successive match following a home draw with Algerian side NA Hussein Dey in a Group D match at the Borg El Arab Stadium.

After France-born Moroccan forward Khalid Boutaib put Zamalek ahead in the 14th minute, the Egyptians looked set to recover from the 4-2 loss to Kenyan giants Gor Mahia in their opening game.

But Faouzi Yaya struck back for the visitors right in the 90th minute to spoil the night for Zamalek.

It was a horrible outing for Zamalek, who now anchor Group D, while Hussein Dey are placed at the top with a point ahead of second-placed Petro Atletico.

While Zamalek were struggling, Tunisian giants Etoile di Sahel were also singing blues in Ouagadougou where they were held 0-0 by Salitas.

Placed on third position, Etoile are without a win in Group B after losing their opening match to fellow Tunisians CS Sfaxien.

They fired blanks all evening against Salitas whom they have the same number of points – one – with.

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