Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
SPEED merchant Edward Sadomba was on a high at the weekend as the Zimbabwe international footballer celebrated his fourth championship title with Al Hilal and consolidated his cult status at the Sudanese giants.Al Hilal crushed Amal Atbara 5-1 to claim the ultimate prize in Sudanese football with three games to spare.
The triumph achieved at their favourite hunting ground — the Al Hilal — is the 26th championship that the Blue Waves have won in the Sudan Premier League since their formation in 1930.
Crucially for Sadomba it was his fourth with the club having first tasted his major success with the club in 2009 before more titles were to follow in 2010 and 2012.
It is also Sadomba’s fifth career championship having won the Zimbabwe title with Dynamos in 2007 under David “Yogi’’ Mandigora.
Sadomba completed the scoring in a come-from-behind rout of Amal Atbara that saw Sudanese midfielder Nizar Hamid grabbing a brace while other midfielders — Nigerian Azeez Shobola — and Suhip Elezeledeen also of Sudan added a goal each.
By half-time the Blue Waves had virtually ensured they would be been crowned champions after they reacted to an early set back by racing into a 4-1 lead that gave them just the cushion they needed and the tonic their army of supporters needed to break into party mood.
Ironically Al Hilal had not won a championship title since 2014 and the barren spell also coincided with Sadomba’s absence after the former Dynamos hitman had moved bases.
During his time away from Sudan, Sadomba played football in Libya and in the United Arab Emirates.
But it has always been Al Hilal that has proved to be “his second home’’ ever since he hogged the limelight in continental football when inspiring Dynamos to a semi-final finish in the 2008 Champions League and left this country.
His career path took him to Bidvest Wits in South Africa where he barely saw any action before being shipped to Liga Muculmana in Mozambique from where the Al Hilal scouts eventually snapped him after tracking his fine record at DeMbare.
In the last two seasons, Al Hilal have had to live in the shadows of their cross-town rivals El Merreikh, as they were forced to settle for the runners-up spot in the Premiership.
Al Hilal have in their 86 year-year history managed 15 runners up spots, four third place finishes and one fourth place slot in 1992.
They were also twice runners-up in the African Cup of Club Champions, now the Champions League in 1987 and 1992.
Al Hilal have also featured eight times in the CAF Confederation Cup and twice reaching the semi-finals in 2010 and 2012.
According to reports from Khartoum, there was a packed house at Al Hilal as a wave of expectation engulfed the 35 000 seater arena with the home fans bracing for a party night.
Sadomba, speaking from his base in Khartoum yesterday, acknowledged as much, but pointed to the number of experienced players in the side as one of the factors that ensured they would take the title march in their stride.
“Pressure is always there, but I think we have the experience in the team and even though Amal Atbara scored first, we did not panic.
“Although we won 5-1 in this game, I must say it is not easy to win the league . . . there is no match that is easy,’’ Sadomba said.
The 33-year-old forward, who has scored 11 league goals so far, also insisted the success was not so much about his having returned to Al Hilal.
“Yes I feel great to win the championship . . . all glory to God because El Merreikh won last season so to win the league championship means a lot to me. It is not only about me because everybody contributed to win this championship,’’ Sadomba said.
Meanwhile, Method Mwanjali was the man-of-the-match when Tanzanian giants Simba SC and Young Africans drew 1-1 in one of the continent’s biggest derbies at the weekend.
Simba fought back late in the game to earn the point.
Mwanjali plays for Simba SC while Young Africans have Thabani Kamusoko and Donald Ngoma in their ranks.