Faisal qualifies for group stage of CAF Cup
Kumasi, May 22, GNA - King Faisal struggled to beat Red Arrows of Zambia 3-2 in the second leg match played at the Baba Yara sports stadium in Kumasi to qualify for the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup competition.
Faisal drew 1-1 with Arrows in the first leg played in Zambia a fortnight ago and thus qualified on a 4-3 goals aggregate.
It was Faisal who went into attack and nearly took the lead in the third minute but Habib Mohammed after beating three defenders on a run shot into the waiting hands of goalkeeper Fred Mankomba.
The Zambians warmed themselves into the game and came close to scoring in the ninth minute but Danny Hangunyu's shot went off target, however the player atoned for his missed chance to score the opener for his side in the 11th minute.
Faisal counter-attacked and had two successive corner kicks in the 18th and 19th minutes but all were wasted.
Still probing for the equaliser, Eric Gawu had a chance to bring the scores even in the 29th minute but he fumbled in front of goal. Prince Antwi however equalised in the 32nd minute through a spot kick after Sumaila Alhassan was fouled in the 18.
Visiting Arrows who seemed not perturbed by the goal carried the ball into the vital area of Faisal and nearly restored the lead but goalkeeper Suraj Mohammed was on hand to save the situation. Gawu from then was well policed by the defence of Arrows but the striker in a personal effort weaved his way through the defence in the 44th minute but his shot went off target while Ben Wilson also missed a chance in the 45th minute.
Both teams resumed the second half strongly but it was the Zambians who had the upper hand and took the lead through Sam Gondwe in the 49th minute.
With their pride at stake, Faisal accepted the challenge and mounted an attack that paid off for them in the 54th minute when Prince Antwi scored again through what seemed a doubtful penalty that was awarded by referee Jean Olivier of Gabon.
Faisal brought on Eric Ansah for Ben Wilson and Kwabena Poku for Osei Kofi in the 63rd minute while Arrows also substituted Simon Lupiya for Victor Lupiya in the 64th minute and Abraham Mwamba for Stanley Banda in the 70th minute.
Faisal at this stage attacked incessantly from all angles and missed a chance when Shilla Illiasu's goal bound header was headed away by Shaft Katuka in the 79th minute.
With the heat still on the Zambians, Faisal hit the side post in the 85th minute from an in-swinger from Eric Ansah and Gawu was on hand to shoot the rebound into the net in a goalmouth melee for the match winner.
The players of Arrows rushed on the referee just after the whistled for the end of the match to protest aginst his dismal performance but the security personnel were on hand to save the situation.