We had belief, says Al Merriekh’s Salim Jamal

  • Al Merriekh lost the first leg 3-0 in Nigeria against Rivers United
  • They won 4-0 at home to complete one of the greatest come backs in African football
© Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO
Jamal Salim and Al Merriekh celebrate Kagame Cup triumph in Rwanda in 2014

Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Jamal Salim says he and his teammates at Al Merriekh had belief against Rivers United despite losing 3-0 away in the first leg of the CAF Champions League.

The Sudan giants completed one of the greatest comebacks in African football by winning 4-0 in Omdurman to go advance to the group stages 4-3 on aggregate.

“We had belief,” he told Kawowo Sports. “First, we watched the video of the first leg and realised we made silly mistakes in the 3-0 loss which we ironed,” he added.

Even when they won 3-0, they were not as dangerous. Maybe we hadn’t taken them serious in the first leg given our good away form and we were punished but we now had to rise to the big occasion at home.

The former KCCA and Express custodian also adds the inspiration from the club president’s words, the coach as well the fans played a big role.

Passion for the game and the spirit from the fans made it easy for everyone to keep the fight on. And the Al Merriekh fans countrywide for the great support and belief in us. We even had a chat with the president and coach which gave us more belief.

After making the group stages, Al Merriekh are among the top seeds ahead of the group stages draw expected to be held on Tuesday in Cairo.