El-Amal coach Elmaleh still hopeful on progress

El-Amal coach Gad Elmaleh is optimistic that his team can score three goals against Atraco in the return leg of the Orange Confederations cup on February 28 in Sudan.
Atraco’s Ismail Habumugisha is foiled by El- Amal keeper during Sunday’s clash at Nyamirambo stadium. Atraco won 2-0 but  El- Amal  coach is confident his team can still progress. (Photo J.Mbanda).
Atraco’s Ismail Habumugisha is foiled by El- Amal keeper during Sunday’s clash at Nyamirambo stadium. Atraco won 2-0 but El- Amal coach is confident his team can still progress. (Photo J.Mbanda).

El-Amal coach Gad Elmaleh is optimistic that his team can score three goals against Atraco in the return leg of the Orange Confederations cup on February 28 in Sudan.

El-Amal were defeated by Atraco 2-0 at Regional stadium on Sunday afternoon with goals from captain Lomami Jean and Jabir Mutarambirwa but Elmaleh thinks that his team who are making their debut in the continental competition have the ability to overturn the tie in their favour.

“We had good possession in the game but failed to create chances and that is what we will be concentrating on before the return leg.

“We were also not happy with the refereeing decisions during the game, we were denied a clear penalty and also had a genuine goal disallowed,” Elmaleh said after the game on Sunday.

He however, noted, “But I am confident that my team, with the help of Allan will overturn this tie, we have the ability to beat Atraco by 3 goals at our place.”

The Sudanese side thought they had reduced the score midway through the second half but the assistant referee overruled the centre referee, ruling the goal out for handball, although the man with whistle had pointed to the centre.

The decision infuriated El-Amal players and technical staff, who crowded the official and expressed their anger in the strongest way possible.

The Tanzanian referee had early on turned down strong appeals by El-Amal for a penalty when their player went down in the box under the challenge of an Atraco defender.

While, the Sudanese were left furious with the referee, Atraco coach Sam Timbe also didn’t have any kind word for the officials despite the win.

He said, “Some of the decisions by the referees were left wanting. Two of three El-Amal players should have got yellow cards for blatantly kicking at our players but the referee just ignored all that.”

The return leg will take place in two weeks’ time in Atbaraha, a North Eastern town of Sudan and the winner of this tie will face either Costa do Sol of Mozambique or Botswana’s Unia Flamingo Santos.

Like Atraco, Costa do Sol take a 2-0 lead into the return leg in Botswana.

Elsewhere, Burundi’s Athletico Olympic were held to a 1-1 draw in Bujumbura by Nigeria’s Wari Wolves while Kenya’s AFC Leopard beat Ethiopia’s Banks 3-0 in Nairobi.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Gatete’s new club St.George of Ethiopia came away with a 1-1 draw against Aloua Gaseruka’s El Merreikh of Sudan in Khartoum in the CAF Orange Champions League tie on Sunday.

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