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Thursday, December 7, 2023

CAFCL: AmaZulu fight back to draw at Horoya and hold onto third place in Group B

South Africa’s AmaZulu traveled to face Guinean champions Horoya AC in each team’s final CAF Champions League Group C matchup and the side from Durban did well to battle back for a 1-1 draw in Conakry on Friday. AmaZulu finished third in the group following the result thanks to an own goal early in the second half after going down just before halftime to a Dramane Nikiema opener. Horoya finish in fourth with the result to wrap up a disappointing CAFCL campaign.

The visitors struggled to get into the match with the Guinean club determined to end on a positive note, and Horoya controlled the first half. Clear opportunities were not plentiful for either team with the only chance in the opening fifteen minutes that stood out coming from the hosts when AmaZulu goalkeeper Jean-Noël Amonome handled a strong volleyed effort without trouble.

Just before the end of the half an intricate build up from the hosts gave them the lead. In the 45th minute Horoya stretched and broke down the Usuthu defense before Ismaël Camara set up Burkina Faso international Nikiema at the edge of the box, who curled in an excellent shot that Amonome could only watch as the ball nestled into the top corner.

The response was excellent from the visitors after the break and it did not take long for interim coach Brandon Truter’s side to find a leveler. In the 48th minute the AmaZulu attack put Horoya on the back foot, giving Thabo Qalinge plenty of room for a cross on the right side of the penalty area. Qalinge’s service took a wicked deflection off center back Salif Coulibaly and wrong footed Horoya keeper Moussa Camara, who could not react quickly enough to prevent the ball going by him at his near post.

Qalinge continued to cause issues for Horoya and AmaZulu looked more capable of breaking the deadlock for the remainder of the match. Camara came up with a 79th minute double save to keep out an initial effort and Qalinge’s bouncing follow up attempt. Late in second half stoppage time Qalinge’s corner kick service picked out an open Sandile Khumalo but the AmaZulu center back could only head over the bar.

Highlights of the match are below.