Forward Kheiredine Merzougui missed a 93rd minute penalty as visitors CR Belouizdad failed to pick three precious points away from home in a 0-0 draw with Etoile du Sahel in their TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Group C opening match in Rades on Friday.
After holding their own for most of the match against the home team, they could not make maximum use of the golden opportunity in the third minute of added time.
The Algerian champions had come into the match with intent to win and did not hold back, attacking from the word go.
The home side had a golden chance after eight minutes when Fraj Kayramani found himself unmarked inside the box one on one with the keeper but placed his shot wide.
Belouizdad’s best chance of the half fell on Karim Aribi, but he could not beat the keeper with a fine header inside the box.
Aribi had a golden opportunity to make amends in the second half, but he could not burry a one on one chance. On the other end, the home side came close but were denied by the post when Mohamed Naouali’s header came cracking under the woodwork.
While the Algerians soaked in the pressure and were hitting on the counter, they should have made the most of the best chance they got from the penalty but Merzougui saw his penalty saved by Mathlouthi in the Etoile goal.
Frederick Marfo is a sportswriter and social worker well known for his advocacy for equal chances and rights for all athletes, especially those with disabilities.