USMA look to close out CAF Confederation Cup triumph

USMA look to close out CAF Confederation Cup triumph
USM Alger players warm up

by Staff Reporter

Friday Jun 02, 2023. 11:00

USM Alger will be confident of winning the CAF Confederation Cup when they host Young Africans for the second leg of the final, set for Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers on the evening of Saturday 3 June 2023.

The first leg at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam this past Sunday saw the Algerian visitors claim a 2-1 away win: USMA claimed the lead in the first half via Aymen Mahious, before the Tanzanian hosts equalised via Kalala Mayele late on, only for Islam Merili to secure victory with an immediate reply.

Yanga are very much the underdogs in their pursuit of a first continental title – they need to win by two clear goals or by a 2-1 score line to force extra time – but coach Nasreddine Nabbi holds genuine hope that they can turn the tie around and lift the CAFCC trophy in the Algerian capital.

“There are 90 minutes left and as long as we still have this chance, there is an opportunity,” said the Tunisian tactician.

“It is difficult but not impossible. I can’t promise the supporters that I’m going to come back with the Cup. But I say, we will fight to turn the tide. We have the means to do this because we have already proven it.”

Nabbi’s hope springs from Yanga’s attacking prowess, which saw them create several chances against the USMA defence.

“We saw that despite the fact that USM Alger is very compact defensively, we managed to create a lot of chances,” he noted.

“We had almost 62 percent possession of the ball against a compact defence and very aggressive players in duels. This is why I say that nothing is finished. On top of that, we have the culture of scoring away from home.”

USMA, meanwhile, can even afford to lose 1-0 in this match and still win the final on the away goals rule, but coach Abdelhak Benchikha insists that his side will not fall into complacency as they also chase a first continental triumph.

“Nothing is done yet. The game still remains 50-50. I have experience with these kind of matches as a coach,” said the Algerian.

“Yanga will come to Algeria with nothing to lose and we have to remain focused. Yes, we have a small step from the first leg but I know how things can change and we should not lose focus. We will keep working.”

USMA are looking to become the first Algerian team to win the CAFCC, with ES Setif, MO Bejaia and JS Kabylie all having lost in their respective final appearances in 2009, 2016 and 2021.

Sign in with:  
Sign in to comment
Important information regarding cookies
By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.