Sudanese giants set for CAF Cup final
JOHANNESBURG - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoA third CAF Confederation Cup final between clubs from the same country is on the cards with Sudanese sides Al Hilal and Al Merreikh favored to qualify this weekend.
Hilal holds a 2-0 advantage over Djoliba of Mali going into the second leg of a semifinal in Bamako on Nov. 11, a day after Merreikh attempts to wipe out a 2-1 deficit against Congolese visitors AC Leopards in Omdurman.
An all-Sudan decider would maintain a pattern with two Tunisian teams in the final four years ago and two sides from Ghana squaring off in the first final four years earlier.
Although the Sudanese league does not rate among the strongest in Africa, Hilal and Merreikh usually employ foreign coaches, boost squads with ‘imports’ and generally enjoy good runs in Pan-African competitions.
Both started this year in the Champions League, only to suffer losses in the final qualifying round and drop down to the second-tier Confederation Cup.
Merreikh was runner-up to CS Sfaxien in the 2007 Confederation Cup and Hilal was semifinalist three seasons later, exiting after a penalty shootout against the same Tunisian club.
Djoliba beat Hilal 2-0 in a 2010 Confederation Cup game and boast an unbeaten home record.