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Hilal crush Coton Sport quarter-final hopes, move top of Group B

Sudan’s Al Hilal have stormed to the top of Group B of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League after beating Cameroon’s Cotonsport 2-0 in Omdurman.

The victory at home not only thrust the Sudanese giants to the top of the group but handed the Cameroonians their fourth straight defeat, essentially ending their hopes of making the knockout phases.

Cotonsport is bottom with zero points and two matches left in the group.

Hilal meanwhile moved top with nine points from three straight victories, pending erstwhile leaders Mamelodi Sundowns’ high-profile clash against record champions Al Ahly next weekend. Downs are on seven points while Ahly is on four at third.

In Omdurman, Hilal who has been in good form so far this season scored in either half via David Abagna and Makabi Lilepo’s penalty.

They broke the deadlock three minutes to halftime when Ghanaian Abagna swept home from inside the box after a good team move saw skipper Abdelrahman Yousif Yagoub put him through on goal.

Hilal went deservedly into the lead, having dominated the chances and possession. They had an early chance when Walieldin Khidir dragged a shot just wide from the edge of the area, with Lilepo also having a chance with a shot from range which flashed just wide.

Lilepo had another golden opportunity when Imoro Ibrahim played him through with a cross, but his connection went wide.

Cotonsport’s best chance of the half was off Patient Gouegoue Wassou who curled an effort over the bar from inside the box after they broke on the counter, Brice Eboudje playing him through.

They also had another opportunity when keeper Ali Abou Achrine punched away a freekick from Ibrahim Abba. The custodian had been punished after handling the ball outside the box.

Cotonsport were better in the second half and they had some chances to score with Abba coming closest with a header from close range that was well saved by Achrine. They continued piling pressure, but couldn’t connect well in the final third.

The hosts sealed the game with eight minutes left when Lilepo scored a sublime penalty after substitute John Robia was hacked inside the box by Veraloh McGregor.

It was the last nail in Cotonsport’s coffin, and they will now play the final two matches of the group to save face, with their qualification hopes up in smoke.

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