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Arab Club Champions Cup: Al-Hilal shake off rust to defeat CS Sfaxien in first leg

The preliminary stages of the 2023 Arab Club Champions Cup (a.k.a. King Salman Club Cup) is close to being complete and it was Sudan’s Al-Hilal Omdurman who took the first step towards qualification for the group stage on Tuesday. Hilal defeated Tunisian club CS Sfaxien 1-0 in the first leg of their clash at the Stade Hammadi Agrebi in Tunis, where the teams will meet again in three days for the second leg.

The first leg was delayed for an extended period due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan and Hilal were forced to host the first leg in Tunisia. Despite not having played a match in nearly three months following the cancellation of the Sudan Premier League, Florent Ibenge’s team did well to overcome the circumstances to earn a positive result.

The only goal of the match arrived in the 26th minute when star forward Mohamed Abdelrahman converted a penalty kick after defender Ousmane Diouf was taken down while attempting to reach a cross from Makabi Lilepo. Abdelrahman fired his penalty kick right down the middle past a diving Mohamed Hedi Gaaloul in the CSS goal. Ten minutes earlier Hilal keeper Issa Fofana did brilliantly to save a penalty kick attempt from CSS attacker Achraf Habessi.

Highlights of the first leg are below.

14′: Al-Hilal goalkeeper Issa Fofana denies Achraf Habessi from the penalty spot

26′: Mohamed Abdelrahman finishes his penalty kick to give Hilal the lead

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