KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Sudanese first division Football Club Al-Mirrikh Saturday night swept its rival Molodia FC of Algeria 3/0 and secured a place in the semi-finals of the lucrative Arab Club Champions Cup tournament.
Mirrikh Midfielder Mohammad Alrasheed gave his side the lead in minute 20 of the first half, cashing on a ball randomly scattered by the Algerian goalkeeper.
Then Mirrikh’s powerful midfielder Ramadan Ajab engineered an artful through pass to scorer Mohammed Abdelrahman who took a few firm steps and carefully swept the ball between the Algerian goal keeper’s feet. The same player netted the third goal early in the second half after receiving a clever through pass from his teammate Bakri Abdelgadir.
Mirrikh will clash Tunisian Étoile Sportive du Sahel (ESS,) in the semi-final at a date to be announced later on.
Mirrikh had disqualified the Algerian FC Ettihad in the tournament’s quarter finals beating them 4/1 in Omdurman and receiving a defeat of 2/0 in Algiers.
The Mirrikh ascension to this stage is a semblance of a windfall given the dire financial situation that prompted club fans to donate sums via WhatsApp groups to run club affairs and to pay national and foreign players accumulating arrears.
Reports published here say the cup winner would cash a big sum of $7 million in addition to the trophy, while the team ranking second will collect $2 million.
According to the reports the Arab Football Union, that runs the biannual contest, had fixed this huge sum because it had noticed that Arab member states clubs were reluctant to send their senior players to the contest, contending with second-row players.
Early announcements said the Union had fixed a prize of $ 4 million for the cup winner, but the UAE had beefed up the sum to this magnitude in commemoration of the Gulf country’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayid Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. Accordingly this edition of the contest was made to carry the name: Sheikh Zayid Cup.
Mirrikh had already received $50,000 when it qualified for group 16. Then it came to collect $200,000 when it qualified for the quarterfinals. Mirrikh is also due to receive a yet to be announced sum for qualifying for the semi-final stage, according to the sports press.
The idea behind these disbursements is understood to help the contending clubs keep up with training, pay for air travel and lodging in away matches and keep the contest alive.
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