CAFCL: Salahdin Said Double Sends Kidus Giorgis to the Group Stages

Kidus Giorgis have beaten AC Leopards 3-0 on aggregate to go through to the group stages of the 2017 CAF Total Champions League on Sunday afternoon in Addis Ababa. A large fans turnout rate saw the Stadium to be full to the brim.

The visitors stared off the tie brightly but their poor attacking proficiency let them down at the final third as they failed to register on target efforts. Left back Junior Mouzita’s curling effort sailed over the bar minutes after the onset. Les Fauves de Niari kept on dominating the proceedings in the opening minutes as the Horsemen struggled to possess the ball. Leopards keeper Dule Lutunu attempted a long range shot in the 16th minute but Salahdin Said deflected the ball before slotting home with a simple finish to hand Kidus Giorgis the lead. Four minutes later a Behailu Assefa perfect cross found the unmarked Salahdin whose free header struck the inner post. Burkinabe Prince Severin Waongo effort was cleared off the line by Tilton Ngounga in the 33rd minute. Two minutes later Adane Girma missed out a clear cut chance to extend the lead from close range.

After the resumption AC Leopards pushed to get a goal, although their effort was futile in most cases. The homers enjoyed a superb support but failed to create more chances in the second interval. Robert Odongkara denied Mozita the leveler from close range in the 57th minute. Two minutes later Joviale Varel sent a powerful shot from 25 meters out but failed to hits the target. Second half substitute Samu Tshibamba had Leopard’s best opportunity of the afternoon. Tshibamba beat his markers before unleashing a shot wide of the near post in the 76th minute. In the dying moments of the match the desperate Leopards goalkeeper Lutunu came out of his post as he took part in a corner kick. Nonetheless, the corner kick was cleared out by Kidus Giorgis’s backline before Salahdin completed his brace scoring into the empty net.

The 2-0 win ensured Kidus Giorgis a safe passage to the group stages of the CAF Champions League as they become the first Ethiopian side to cruise to the group stages. Since the CAF Champions League restructured in 1997, no Ethiopian side have ever made it to the group stages before Kidus Giorgis achieved the fate earlier today. The newly expanded Champions League now has 16 teams which will be grouped under 4 groups.

The Congo Republic side AC Leopards is now demoted to the CAF Confederations Cup.


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