Cuba

Weekend Guide 18.3.2016

A visit to a thrilling African Champions League clash, the island of Macau will welcome us with a top match and finally, a chill out match from Cuba with few cigars and the new names in the local title race.

(All the hours are in CET local time)

Amateur (Like  these guys)

What? Al-Hilal Omdurman – Al Ahli Tripoli (CAF Champions League)

When? Sunday, 1800

Where? Al-Hilal Stadium, Omdurman

Why? Al Ahli Tripoli is one step from making one of the biggest sensations in the African football. The Libyan champions won the first leg at neutral ground, 1:0, and now they will travel to Sudan, for the second leg against Al-Hilal Omdurman. Al-Hilal are last season’ semifinalists, who finished as runner-ups twice in the history.

Key Players: Mohamed Ahmed Bashir, known as Bisha, is the leading player of Al-Hilal and the Sudanese league top scorer with 8 goals in 9 matches. In Al Ahli you should look at Ali Salama, Libya national team captain.

Touching History: In 1984 African Cup Winners Cup, Al Ahli Tripoli qualified to the finals. Due to the complicated relations between Libya and Egypt, Al Ahli Tripoli refused to play against Al Ahly from Cairo, so they disqualified and were replaced by their semifinals opponents, Canon Yaoundé of Cameroon.

Professional (like this goal)

What? Benfica de Macau – Sporting Macau (Macau Primeira Divisão)

When? Saturday, 0700

Where? Estádio Campo Desportivo, Taipa

Why? No, this is not the derby of Lisbon, but this is the match of the day in Macau. Benfica are the reigning champions in past two seasons while they lead the league with 24 points in 8 matches. Sporting Macau will try to be the first team to defeat them, as they are in the 2nd place with 20 points.

Key Players: After playing in Portugal lower divisions, the goalkeeper Rui Nibra seems to be Benfica’s most dominant player, also thanks for his good performance. Sporting main man is local forward Miguel Botelho, one of the club’s great scorers in recent years.

Lock the Gates: Not only that Benfica haven't lost yet, they also didn't concede a single goal this season. They continue their insane run of 13 league matches without a goal against.

World Class (like this goal)

What? Guantánamo – La Habana (Campeonato Nacional de Fútbol de Cuba)

When? Saturday, 2130

Where? Estadio Rogelio Palacios, Guantánamo

Why? The lovely island of Cuba has an interesting domestic league and the two leaders are ready for a hot date. Guantánamo are in the 2nd place, 2 points behind La Habana. Both of teams want to make another step towards a rare title. For Guantánamo it will be the debut title, while for La Habana it will be first title since 1967.

Key Players: Alberto Gómez, or 'Beto', of Guantánamo is the guy to watch, as he was one of the leaders of the national team in the historic Caribbean Cup title in 2012. In La Habana you just can't miss Jaime Colomé, 36 years old veteran midfielder that represented Cuba in 5 Gold Cups and plays for the club since 2002.

Long Tradition: Cuba is one of the oldest football nations in the world. The league is playing since 1912 and this is the 101st edition of the competition. Cuba even played in 1938 World Cup.