January 19, 2020

Elhouni boosts Esperance hopes of CAF CL hat-trick

first_imgGroup D leaders Esperance are seeking an unprecedented third straight Champions League title and will enjoy home advantage against pointless V Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo.AFP Sport previews the eight-match schedule spanning Friday and Saturday with Esperance, fellow Tunisian team Etoile Sahel and TP Mazembe of DR Congo defending perfect group records.Group APrimeiro Agosto of Angola must contain Jackson Muleka in Luanda if they hope to end the two-match winning run of five-time African champions Mazembe.Muleka scored twice in a 3-0 home triumph over Zamalek of Egypt, also five-time winners of the competition, and repeated the feat as Mazembe edged Zesco United 2-1 in Zambia.Winning away to 2018 semi-finalists Primeiro, who have only one point, would confirm Mazembe as favourites to win the group as they chase a first Champions League title since 2015.The last Mazembe success was masterminded by French coach Patrice Carteron, now in charge of second-place Zamalek, who face Zesco in Zambian mining hub Ndola.Group BAlgerian Karim Aribi hopes to increase his chart-topping nine-goal tally in the Champions League this season when Etoile Sahel host Al Hilal of Sudan near Tunis.Aribi scored four goals in a qualifier and has at least four more matches to try and overtake Nigerian Stephen Worgu, who netted a record 13 times in the 2008 season.Etoile, the only club to lift all five past and present CAF trophies, edged record eight-time Champions League winners Al Ahly of Egypt 1-0, then outclassed Platinum 3-0 in Zimbabwe.Ahly recovered from the loss in Tunis to beat Al Hilal more decisively than the 2-1 score suggests and are expected to collect maximum points against pointless Platinum in Cairo.Group CMamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes the South African club can defeat hosts USM Alger of Algeria despite a disruptive build-up to the match in Blida near Algiers.Limited travel options meant the Pretoria outfit left Johannesburg Monday and flew via Paris to the north African nation, where they trained on Christmas Day.“I believe we have more chance of defeating USM than Wydad Casablanca,” said 2016 Champions League-winning coach Mosimane, referring to a 0-0 draw in Morocco this month.But if Sundowns lose, they could surrender top place if twice champions Wydad exploit home advantage and beat struggling Petro Luanda of Angola.Group DEsperance have recovered from a poor start to their challenge for a third consecutive title with wins over Raja Casablanca and JS Kabylie taking them to the top of the standings.The victories over the Moroccan and Algerian clubs came after the ‘Blood and Gold’ battled to overcome minnows Elect-Sport of Chad in a qualifier.Apart from Elhouni, Tunisian international Anice Badri has been impressive, scoring twice against Al Sadd in Doha.With V Club virtually out of contention already, the clash of Raja and Kabylie in Casablanca assumes added importance as both former champions eye a top-two finish and a last-eight spot.0Shares0000(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Esperance forward Hamdou Elhouni celebrates completing a hat-trick against Al Sadd of Qatar last week in the Club World Cup © AFP / KARIM JAAFARJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Dec 26 – Hamdou Elhouni-inspired Esperance of Tunisia want to carry on where they left off in the Club World Cup when the CAF Champions League resumes Friday with three matchday three fixtures.Libyan Elhouni scored a hat-trick in a 6-2 rout of Al Sadd from host nation Qatar last week as his side finished fifth in the annual competition, which Liverpool won.last_img read more

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Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute ri

first_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Comments   Share   Silva says unless Kolb overcomes his fear of the pass rushthe Cardinals won’t get anywhere, and that unlike otherbad NFC teams, the Cardinals have already played the easypart of their schedule. Three wins from here on out would be an accomplishment. Harsh words, but the Cardinals haven’t exactly done muchto prove him wrong. There is still time, though, and maybeSunday’s win will spark the team to a second-halfturnaround. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkecenter_img However, that’s where the good stuff stops.Arizona’s defense is easy to move the ball against becauseit can’t stop the pass. Safety Kerry Rhodes, the team’sbest defensive back in coverage, fractured his left footon Oct. 9 and remains out indefinitely. No NFC team hasallowed more completions of 20-plus yards. Offensively,quarterback Kevin Kolb has been a bust. Now injured, the$65 million summer addition has more turnovers thantouchdowns and arguably the worst pocket presence infootball. Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who argues that theArizona Cardinals are a good football team, but at 2-6 arethey really the worst the NFC has to offer?NBCSports.com’s Evan Silva thinks so, andhe predicts the team to win just one more time thisseason.On the bright side, Silva notes, Beanie Wells has beengood for the Cardinals, picking up seven touchdowns and506 yards on 113 carries. He also says Patrick Petersonhas sparked the Cardinals’ special teams. last_img read more

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