African News 19.3.2017 06:04 pm

Wits crash out of Caf Champions League

Phakamani Mahlambi of Bidets Wits challenged by Ahmed Hegazy of Al Ahly during the 2017 Caf Champions League match between Bidvest Wits v Al Ahly at the Bidvest Stadium, South Africa on 19 March 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Phakamani Mahlambi of Bidets Wits challenged by Ahmed Hegazy of Al Ahly during the 2017 Caf Champions League match between Bidvest Wits v Al Ahly at the Bidvest Stadium, South Africa on 19 March 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Students crash out of Champions League after being held to a stalemate by Al Ahly.

A 0-0 draw at the Bidvest Stadium on Sunday afternoon between Wits and Al Ahly saw the Students knocked out of the CAF Champions League at the first round stage; 1-0 on aggregate.

Gavin Hunt’s team enjoyed their fair share of play, but they generally failed to trouble the north African side’s defence on the day as the Egyptian giants used their experience to see off the challenge.

There were a couple of anxious moments for the home side early on when the Egyptians played some dangerous balls into the box.

Having avoided conceding the goal, the home side began to exert themselves on the game and had a great chance on 10 minutes when Daine Klate whipped in a dangerous free kick which Bongani Khumalo glanced towards the far post, only for goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy to tip the ball around the post.

The remainder of the half saw Wits pushing and probing for openings. But their play lacked incision, while the Egyptians, with their 1-0 first leg advantage, were happy to slow proceedings down as much as possible.

However, the South Africans were nearly on the score-sheet just before half-time when first Ekramy denied Buhle Mkhwanazi with an outstanding save, before Al Ahly failed to clear the resultant corner and the ball found it’s way to Gabadinho Mhango, but his shot from a tight angle rattled the upright.

The Students, however, failed to take that momentum into the second half as they battled to find the energy and inspiration to break down a resolute Al Ahly defence.

The home side, though, also needed to be wary of conceding a goal which would have left them needing to score at least twice to save the tie, and it took some determined defending on the hour mark and a save by Moeneeb Josephs to stop Abdallah El Saeed from registering.

With the eight-time Champions League winners increasingly making use of time-wasting antics, there was a rare chance for Eleazar Rodgers with 20 minutes to go, but Ekramy made the save.

Although they weren’t firing on all cylinders, Wits continued to push for a goal and there were chances for Mogakolodi Ngele and Klate, but both failed to hit the target, while at the other end of the field, Josephs did very well to stop Amr Gamal in a one-on-one situation.

That proved to be it for the game as the Students bowed out of Africa’s premier club competition.

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results

Chiefs 1-0 Wits
Sundows 2-2 Highlands
Arrows 2-1 Pirates

fixtures

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# Team GP Pts
1 Bidvest Wits 30 60
2 Sundowns 30 57
3 Cape Town City 30 55
4 Kaizer Chiefs 30 50
5 SuperSport United 30 48
6 Polokwane City 30 43
7 Maritzburg Utd 30 38
8 Arrows 30 38
9 Platinum Stars 30 37
10 Ajax Cape Town 30 36
11 Orlando Pirates 30 33
12 Bloemfontein Celtic 30 29
13 Chippa United 30 28
14 Free State Stars 30 28
15 Baroka FC 30 28
16 Highlands Park 30 27

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