Friday Sep 19, 2014. 11:34
AC Leopards head into their CAF Confederations Cup semifinal first leg clash with Sewe Sport in great form, having managed two wins and one draw in their Group A away games entering the knockout stages of the competition.
Kick-off in Abidjan at the Stade Robert Champroux on Sunday is at 17h30 (CAT).
The Congolese outfit will be confident to continue their superb form on the road, and book their place in final of the continental competition for the second time in three years.
Leopards lifted the trophy in 2012 following a 4-3 aggregate win over Malian side Djoliba AC in the final.
“We are fortunate to be able to host the return leg, so we are holding the cards. We are ambitious and our objective is to reach the final,” AC Léopards manager Patrick Aussems told reporters.
“My players are boosted by the national team’s results. We are going to try to emulate them and send a Congolese club in the final.”
The Congolese national side pulled of a shock 3-2 win over Nigeria before beating Sudan in their two opening 2015 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers earlier this month.
The ‘Fauves du Niari’ will be boosted by the return to action of skipper Rudy Guelord Bhebey-Ndey, who had been side-lined for many weeks after suffering an injury with Congo against Namibia in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Sewe meanwhile are sweating on the fitness of star striker Roger Assale and defender Ousmane Ouattara. The pair were called-up to the Ivory Coast National team by Hervé Renard for recent Afcon Qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Cameroon earlier this month and returned to the club with minor injuries.
Despite the absence of the two internationals, head coach Rigo Gervais is confident his side can mange a win over the Congolese side.
“The medical staff are trying their best to get them fit. Anyway, with or without our two international players, Sewe have what it takes to win this match. Everyone is motivated and the players are eager to play the game of their lives,” Gervais said at a press conference.
Coton Sport host eight time CAF Champions League winner Al Ahly in the other semifinal.