Must-win clash for JS Saoura

Must-win clash for JS Saoura
AS Vita Club's Ngonda Muzinga (R)

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Feb 11, 2019. 12:16

JS Saoura face a must-win CAF Champions League clash when they host Group D rivals AS Vita at the Stade 20 Aout 1955 in Bechar on Tuesday night. Kick-off is at 21h00 CAT.

Saoura come into the game placed bottom of the group, with just two points from their opening three matches in the pool, while Vita are second on four points, three adrift of runaway leaders Al Ahly.

The Algerian side opened their campaign with a 3-0 away loss at Simba SC back on January 12, but they’ve shown some major progress since then.

First they held Al Ahly to a creditable 1-1 draw in Bechar on January 18, before their last outing in the group which was a 2-2 draw in Kinshasa against the Black Dolphins on February 2.

Vita enjoyed a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Kazadi Kasengu and Makusu Mundele, but Saoura struck back through Mohamed El Amine Hammia and Sid Ali Yahia Cherif (the latter’s goal was late on, arriving in the 88th minute) to salvage a valuable point on the road.

The Eagles’ coach, Nabil Neghez, will be urging his team to recapture the spirit and determination of their fight-back, as a win against Vita would bring them right back into quarterfinal contention.

Vita counterpart Florent Ibenge, meanwhile, will want to see his charges return to the form they showed in thrashing Simba 5-0 on January 19.

With nearly a month until Matchday 5 (which is set for the weekend of March 8-10), getting a positive result and placing themselves for the deciding group matches will be key for both Saoura and Vita.

The other Group D match will be played on Tuesday afternoon (kick-off at 15h00 CAT) and see Simba host Al Ahly in Dar es Salaam.

The game in Bechar will be refereed by Rwandan official Louis Hakizimana.

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