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Arab Club Champions Cup: FC Nouadhibou and US Monastir advance, Mehri’s hat-trick not enough to topple ASFAR

The final qualifying stage for the 2023 Arab Club Champions Cup will feature six African clubs after three more teams confirmed their advancement late Wednesday evening. Morocco’s ASFAR narrowly advanced past Al-Ittihad Tripoli of Libya following a 3-1 second leg defeat which was not enough to overturn ASFAR’s 4-1 first leg victory. Top Mauritanian club FC Nouadhibou also advanced despite a second leg defeat to Shabab Al-Ordon of Jordan and Tunisia’s US Monastir finished a dominant victory over two legs against Yemeni club Fahman SCC.

Al-Ittihad had plenty of work to do against ASFAR at the Benina Martyrs Stadium in Benghazi but passionate home support helped the cause of the reigning Libyan champions. Moroccan forward Abdelghafour Mehri, on loan from ASFAR’s Botola Pro rivals Olympique Safi, scored twice in the first half to put Ittihad within a goal of victory. However a goal late in the first half from ASFAR’s Mustapha Sahd gave his team a crucial away goal. Mehri completed his hat-trick in the second half but Ittihad could not find one more goal and lost 5-4 on aggregate.

Similarly to ASFAR, Mauritanian champions FC Nouadhibou built up a substantial advantage with a 4-1 first leg victory in Nouakchott and Shabab Al-Ordon had a massive task to advance. Jordan national team defender Saleem Obaid scored following a corner kick late in the first half but Nouadhibou held on without too much trouble for a 4-2 aggregate victory. US Monastir were always heavy favorites to advance past Yemen’s Fahman and second half goals from Zied Alioui and Ahmed Jafeli confirmed a lopsided 6-0 aggregate win for the Tunisian club.

Highlights from all three of Wednesday’s second leg matches are below following the scores.

Scores

Al-Ittihad (LBY) 3-1 ASFAR (MAR)

ASFAR win 5-4 on aggregate

Shabab Al Ordon (JOR) 1-0 FC Nouadhibou (MRT)

FC Nouadhibou win 4-2 on aggregate

US Monastir (TUN) 2-0 Fahman SCC (YEM)

US Monastir win 6-0 on aggregate

Highlights

Al-Ittihad 3-1 ASFAR

US Monastir 2-0 Fahman SCC

Shabab Al Ordon 1-0 FC Nouadhibou

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