It was so close for Smouha to be booted out of the Caf Confederations Cup with a 4-3 aggregate win against Kenyan side Ulinzi Starts، despite having a 4-0 in the first leg in Alexandria.
Ulinzi Starts needed a 4-0 win to force the game to penalties or a win of more than five goals to advance outright.
Even with ten men after John Kago was sent off in the 55th minute، Ulinzi put in a great shift but their best was never enough to carry them through the day.
It was really a great deficit to offset for the Kenyan، after their huge 4-0 loss in the first leg where they were totally outplayed. However، they gave their all، but bowed out with an agonizingly close scoreline.
Smouha coach Momen Soliman was full of praise for Ulinzi، saying they fought like men.
“My team today we didn’t play like we did in the first leg. We were very slow and we never won the second balls. We didn’t have a shot on target and that is something very bad for us. But we are pleased to go through،” Soliman noted.
Samwel Onyango scored twice in the first half with Omar Mbongi scoring a deflected free kick late in the second half.
Onyango opened the scoring in the 10th minute after being picked out by a Daniel Waweru pass from midfield، stretching his feet to tap the ball past the Smouha keeper.
The hosts doubled the tally in the 36th minute after winning the ball from a poorly taken back pass to the keeper، racing into the box to lift the ball past the advancing custodian.
The soldiers came close to the third at the stroke of half time، but Amwoka’s effort from an Onyango ball went inches wide.
Ulinzi were reduced to ten men in the 55th minute after midfielder John Kago received his second yellow card after a rushed tackle. He got his two bookings in the space of less than 10 minutes.
Despite their numerical disadvantage، Ulinzi piled on the pressure and went 3-0 up when Mbongi’s free kick deflected on the wall to dodge the keeper.