CAF Champions League: Algeria’s Constantine Sink Tunisia’s Club Africain
A solitary goal from Abdenior Belkheir helped Algerian defending league champions CS Constantine to a 1-0 win over Club Africain of Tunisia in 2018/19 CAF Champions League Group C match at the Stade Olympique de Rades, Rades in Tunisia.
As a result of this hard-fought win, the Algerian side sits at number one spot in the group after a victory over the Tunisian club on match-day one.
There were few opportunities in front of goal in the first 15 minutes and Andil Djabout tried to test Africain’s Aerif Charif from a distance, but his effort sailed wide.
The Tunisians produced a quick counter-attack in the 25th minute and Yassine Chammakhi was denied by Chamseddine Rahmani on the left post, as the Algeria international parried the ball for a corner.
Five minutes later, the home side were awarded two set pieces as Hamza Agrebi fouled Tau twice in quick succession, but the hosts could not beat Yettou who collected the deliveries.
Constantine improved their attack after the 25th minute and Belkacemi was fouled at the edge of the box, but the set-piece was cleared by Ali Abdi.
However, a return ball fell for Sid Ali Lamri whose glancing header went over the crossbar and failed to beat Charfi on his left corner.
With eight minutes to go before the interval, Fouad Haddad unleashed his trademark long-range shot at goal, but he was denied by Rahmani who was alert to guide his attempt wide of goal.
It was an end to end affair in the final five minutes, but both sides remained firm at the back to head to the tunnel deadlocked at 0-0.
The hosts had a bright start on their return, but Constantine wasted a great chance four minutes into the second half when Bilel Iffa’s back pass was intercepted by Mohammed Abid only to be blocked by the oncoming Charfi.
There were few opportunities in front of goal thereafter and Darragi tried to test Beb Jedid Team’s keeper from a distance, but his efforts yielded nothing.
The Tunisians were awarded a penalty with nine minutes left on the clock, but Yassine Chamakhi missed it as the visitors survived a scare.
Following a number of failed attacks to break down Africain, Constantine finally scored in the 89th minute as Belkheir beat Charfi with a powerful shot after receiving a brilliant pass from Kadour Beldjilali outside the penalty area.
Despite Africain fighting hard to gain total dominance in the encounter, they could not break down the solid Constantine defense.
How they lined-up:
Africain : Charfi, Ifa, Jaziri, Agrebi, Abdi, Mcharek (Sasraku 59'), Darragi (Labidi 86'), Khalil, Khemissi (Kossi 76'), Dhaouadi, Chamakhi.
Constantine: Rahmani, Benayad, Zaalani, Chahrour, Salhi, Haddad (Beldjilali 87'), Yettou, Lamri, Djabout, Abid, Belkacemi (Belkheir 85').