Friday Apr 17, 2015. 10:57
Title holders ES Sétif will be hosted by Raja Casablanca in Morocco on Sunday, in the first leg of their CAF Champions League round of 16 tie.
The two-time African champions (1988 and 2014), who kicked off the defence of their crown with a 3-1 aggregate win over Gambian outfit Real Banjul, will be out to get a good result away from home to boost their chances of advancing to the group stage before hosting Raja in a fortnight.
The ‘Black Eagles’ took advantage of their 1-0 victory over JS Kabylie on Tuesday to leapfrog MO Béjaïa at the top of the Algerian league, and are determined to carry their domestic form into the continental stage.
“This is a two-legged affair, and to get through we have to put in two good performances,” Sétif coach Kheireddine Madoui told competition.dz.
“The players are aware of this. We will put our heart into keeping our momentum.”
Three-time winners of the competition (1989, 1997, 1999), Raja Casablanca cruised to the last 16 after thrashing Congolese side Diables Noirs 6-2 on aggregate and getting past Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa with three unanswered goals.
The ‘Green Devils’ have not reached the group stage of the continent’s foremost competition since the 2011 edition, suffering a second round exit after a defeat on penalties to Guinea’s Horoya AC in the last campaign.
Despite the two sides being regular challengers on the African stage, it will be their first official meeting in a CAF tournament with the match to kick off at Stade Mohamed V at 19h30 CAT on Sunday.