Preview: Egypt's Smouha out to prove Champions League win was no fluke

Ahram Online , Sunday 12 Jul 2015

Smouha will be keen to continue their fairytale when they face Al-Hilal in Sudan in their African Champions League group-stage clash on Sunday


Egypt's Smouha will be hoping to build on a remarkable victory in their opening African Champions League group-stage clash when they face Sudan's Al-Hilal in a tough away game on Sunday.

The underdogs, who had a poor season domestically after retaining their top-flight status by the skin of their teeth,  made a stunning start to their Group A campaign, coming from two goals down to earn a thrilling 3-2 win over Morocco's Moghreb Tetouan in Alexandria two weeks ago.

Smouha, who are making their debut in Africa's elite club competition after finishing as runners-up in the Egyptian league last season, lead the group with three points, two ahead of Al-Hilal and TP Mazembe who played out a dull 0-0 draw.

The Alexandrians overcame some illustrious opponents in the preliminary rounds, defeating Libya's Ahli Tripoli, two-time winners Enyimba of Nigeria and Congo's AC Leopards.

They sacked coach Helmi Toulan just before facing Tetouan but caretaker Mimi Abdel-Razek ensured that would not prove costly when he oversaw a memorable win, having introduced match hero Hermann Kouao in the second half when the visitors were leading 2-0.

The Ivorian scored twice after Salah Amin had narrowed the gap as Smouha proved they would not be pushovers in the tough group.

Smouha sealed promotion to the Egyptian Premier League for the first time in 2010 and gradually moved up the table, with the new signings made by chairman and businessman Farag Amer paying dividends last season when they finished second behind champions Ahly.

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