KingFut continues to round up group stage matches of the 2017 Africa Cup...
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VIDEO: Al-Merrikh double downs MC El Eulma
Al-Zaeem took the lead through an own goal from Adel Namane, before Bakri Al Medina made it 2-0 in the second half to seal the Red Devils’ first three points of the group.
Al-Merrikh XI: Jamal Salim; Agab, Kamal, Alaa Yousif, Musab; Jabason, Omar Bakhiet, Coffie, Dufor; Al-Madina, Libre.
MC El Eulma XI: Ousserir, Abbes, Naamane, Bouzama, Belkhiter, Dehouche, Bentayeb, Chenihi, Derrardja, Hamiti.
It was never going to be easy for MCEE, who were relegated at the end of the 2014/2015 Ligue Professionnelle; however, their start was worse than expected, conceding only six minutes in when Al Medina’s cross was converted into the net by Namane.
The hosts kept pressing for a second goal, and almost found one, but Mohamed Ousserir managed to pull off two miraculous saves to deny Francis Coffie and Solomon Jabason.
With 35 minutes on the clock, Babia had the chance to equalise, but Fares Hamiti’s finish went wide of the post.
Ousserir continued to make a real statement of intent, as he denied Al-Merrikh from adding a second, when he saved Ragei Abdellati’s finish from point-blank range.
The start of the second half did not differ to the start of the first, with the hosts not willing to lose control of the game.
Eleven minutes in, their efforts were rewarded once again. Bakri Al Medina latching onto a Coffie pass to finish past Ousserir and send the stadium into pandemonium.
MC El Eulma’s woes were widened six minutes later, as Namane – who scored the own goal – received a second booking for a foul on Al Medina.
Salim Jamal made a crucial save late on to deny Derrardja, maintaing his side’s clean sheet.
With this win, Al-Merrikh temporarily top Group B, with ES Setif and USM Alger set to square off in the second group game on Saturday.