USM Alger player Hammar Ziri (C) celebrates after scoring against Caps United during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between USM Alger and Caps United in Algiers, Algeria on 9 July 2017 © BackpagePix
Monday Sep 18, 2017. 17:00
USM Alger must secure their place in the CAF Champions League semifinals before they worry about which team they will face, said midfielder Abderraouf Benguit.
The Algerian team are strong favourites to advance into the final four after drawing 1-1 away to Mozambican side Ferroviario de Beira in the first leg of the teams’ quarterfinal tie this past weekend.
The return leg at the 5 July Stadium in Algiers is set for Saturday evening, with the hosts expected to prevail and set up a meeting with either reigning African champions Mamelodi Sundowns or Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca.
However, Benguit insists that USMA will still have to work hard to ensure they claim victory against Beira.
“The players of this team [Beira] are alive, they created some difficulties, so we must beware of it in the return match,” the midfielder told Le Buteur.
“They will have nothing to lose. They will also play without pressure, it will be able to release them and make them even more dangerous, so we will have to be vigilant.”
As for their potential semifinal opponents, Benguit believes it is something they will worry about only if and when they secure progression.
“To start, we will have to validate our ticket for the semifinals next weekend,” he explained.
“As for the opponent we wish to face, we have no preference. No matter the team, we will do whatever it takes to get to the end and reach our goal.
“We all know the importance of this trophy in the eyes of our supporters, for them, for all those who support us, we will fight thoroughly and until the last minute.”