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CAFCL: Friday's late strike sinks Algerian Champions CR Belouizdad in Uyo

BY MFON PATRICK - Akwa United's captain Ubong Friday scored a superb second-half goal to help his team record a 1-0 victory over Algerian Champions CR Belouizdad in the first leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Sunday.

Friday's thunderous strike from outside the box, four minutes from time flew past CR Belouizdad's goalkeeper Gaya Merbah in goal as the Promise Keepers begin their CAF Champions League campaign on a winning note.

After a goalless first-half in which the visitors had the best of chances but were kept in proper check by the hosts' backline, Akwa United took control of the game in the second half, dominated play and created some good goal scoring chances but were unable to put them away.

Coach Kennedy Boboye made some tactical changes and added more fire power to his attacking line when he introduced Akarandut Orok, Samuel Amadi, Adam Yakubu and Onovo David into the game.

Just when it appeared that the visitors will return to North Africa With a point, with just four minutes from time, Ubong Friday received a good pass outside CR Belouizdad's vital area and fired a rocket shot into the net to hand his team an advantage going into the second leg this weekend in Algiers.

The Nigerians champions needs to avoid defeat in Algeria to stand the chance of facing either ASEC Mimosas of Cote d'ivoire or Teungueth of Senegal in the final knockout stage of the competition next month.

Akwa United emerged Champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League last football season and are playing in Africa's premier competition for the first time in their 25 year old history.

Photo Credit: Adeniyi Muyiwa

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