AS Vita suffered a major blow in their CAF Champions League campaign after succumbing 1-0 away to JS Saoura at the Stade du 20 Aout 1995 in Bechar on Tuesday night.
The result sees Algeria’s JSS move to third place in the Group D standings on five points, just two adrift of leaders Al Ahly. Simba SC are second with six points, while DRC giants Vita drop to the bottom of the log with four points but are from out of the running.
Vita began the game determined to impose their physicality on their hosts, with Hamza Zaidi and Mohamed Amine Hammia coming in for some rough treatment. The visitors’ Djuma Shabani picked up a yellow card as early as the 11th minute.
Saoura brushed off the tactics from the DRC giants and proceeded to dominate possession and create several chances, though goalkeeper Nelson Lukong kept out efforts from the likes of Zaidi, Yahia Cherif and Ziri Hammar.
The half-time whistle saw the teams locked at 0-0.
The Algerian side continued to create chances through the second half, but they struggled to get the better of Lukong and it seemed a frustrating evening was in store for the hosts.
However, Hammar took matters into his own hands with just over 10 minutes of regulation time to play and struck a brilliant long-range effort which finally got the better of the Vita goalkeeper.
JSS were able to see out the remainder of the game and claim a 1-0 victory which brings them right back into contention for the knockout stages with two rounds of matches remaining.
Saoura will return to continental action on March 9 with a home match against Simba SA, while Vita will be at home to Egyptian giants and Group D leaders Al Ahly the same day.
JS Saoura (0) 1 (Hammar 78’)
As Vita 0
Saoura: Nateche, Khoualed, Bekakchi, Tiboutine, Talah, Hammar, Hammia, Bouchiba (Boulaouidet 76’), Merbah, Yahia Chérif (Barka 88’), Zaidi (Benhalima 65’)
Vita: Lukong, Bangala, Munganga, Bompunga, Shabani, Sita, Ngoma, Mumbere (Tonombe 66’), Makusu, Kasengu (Moloko 74’), Kisinda (Ngudikama 90’)