CAF Champions League: Missed Penalty Costly as Ittihad Are Eliminated by Bizertin 04/03/2013 14:35:00
Tunsian club Bizertin's heroes as they beat Ittihad. Left: goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha who saved a penalty and Troudi who scored Bizertin's winning goal
Al Ittihad 0 CA Bizertin 1 (Aggregate 1-2)
Libya's representatives in the CAF Champions League, Al-Ittihad have been eliminated from football’s premier club competition in Africa by Tunisia's CA Bizertin who beat the Libyan side 1-0 in the return leg of the preliminary round in Casablanca, Morocco. Bizertin therefore qualify to the next round on a 2-1 aggregate score after only managing a 1-1 draw in their home first leg tie two weeks ago.
Al Ittihad dominated the match and it says much that most of the credit for Bizertin's victory should go to their goalkeeper, Farouk Ben Mustapha. He played a blinder and time and again kept Ittihad from scoring.
Ben Mustapha was in fact hailed as his side's hero, particularly when two minutes from time he saved Younis el Shebani's penalty that could have taken the teams into extra time. The spot kick was awarded for a foul by Larbi Jabeur who was also red carded.
As due to lack of security Ittihad could not play their home second leg match in Libya, and therefore were deprived of a massive advantage, they had to play the second meeting with the Tunisian side in Morocco. It proved too big a hurdle for them and they could not raise their form enough to beat a most experienced side such as Bizertin in the competition.
Al Ittihad gave their all in a well balanced match but they were in for an uphill battle as early as the 24th minute when Troudi scored for the Tunisians that turned up to be the winning tally that earned Bizertin the right to qualify to the next round.
The game was controlled by Algerian Farouk Ouassina, whose refereeing left much to be desired, while goalkeeper Ben Mustapha proved to be Bizertin's player as he saved his side on a number of occasions and denied Ittihad from getting a more deserving result.
In the next round, Bizertin play Dynamos Harare of Zimbabwe who defeated the Lesotho champions 3-1 on aggregate.
In the Confederation Cup Libya's Al Nassr met with much better fortune when they managed to beat Sudan's El Khartoum El Watani away 1-0 to qualify to the first round proper of the competition with an aggregate score of 1-0 after drawing the first leg game 0-0.
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