The game was forced into penalties after Ulinzi won 1-0 in regulation time to take the aggregate score to 1-1, Al Hilal having won 1-0 last week in Cairo, Egypt.
“It was a tough match but I am glad we won. We had trained on penalties and were really determined to make it to the next round. We should have wrapped up the game in 90 minutes but we were frustrated by the Libyans who defended in numbers,” Saruni said after the match.
Just after team mate, Enosh Ochieng had seen his penalty saved, Saruni made a fine save from Abdallah Alshaafi to take his side back into the game.
Oscar Wamalwa and Baron Oketch slotted the first two penalties for Ulinzi while Faisal Albadri and Aly Sanogo responded for the Libyans beating Saruni.
With both sides missing the third kicks, the next two were perfect. Samwel Onyango and John Mark Makwatta scored for Ulinzi while Ali Maetouq and Muad Alamami responded for the visitors to tie the first five attempts at 4-4 and send the strokes to sudden death.
Omar Mbongi did well to score the first for Ulinzi and Esam Alamshi struck the bar for the Libyans, seeing the home side progress.
It wasn’t a game of very many chances in regulation time especially for the visitors who seemed determined to see the game go to penalties.
Ulinzi broke the deadlock in the 19th minute through Onyango’s well taken low shot. Makwatta returning to the starting team after missing the first leg released the winger with a superb through ball which caught the defence napping.
Once, the visitors came close with Ahmed Amhimmid finding space inside the box, but his weak shot went wide. In the second half, Ulinzi started brightly and after three minutes, Makwatta came close. The striker had two other shots trickle wide.
Ulinzi now shift focus to the first round where they will play Egypt’s Smouha. Head coach Benjamin Nyangweso is confident his boys can do well and get a result and move into the next round.
“I believe in the boys, we have worked hard to get the win and now, we focus on the second round. Egyptian opponents are never easy but we will do our best to get a good result,” Nyangweso said.