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VIDEO: USM Alger stun champions ES Setif in CAFCL Group B
USM Alger stun ES Setif to pick up all three points in CAF Champions League group stages.
All 3 goals came in an action packed second half that saw USM Alger deservedly pick up the 3 points after goals from Seguer and Captain Khaouled before ES Setif pulled one back late on through substitute Korbia. This result places USM Alger second in the group behind Al Merriekh on goal difference who beat MC El Eulma 2-0 yesterday in Omdurman.
ES Setif: Khediria, Megatli, Bouchar, Arrousi, Lamri, Delhoum, Dahar, Younes, Djahnit, Benyettou, Ziaya.
USM Alger: Mansouri, Meftah, Khoualed, Mazari, Boudebouda, Khoudri, El Orf, Ferhat, Beldjalili, Segeur, Belaili.
Two heavyweights of Algerian club football clashed in a very anticipated continental tie at Stade 8 Mai in Setif.
Not much happened in the opening 25 minutes, both teams pretty much cancelled each other out with no clear cut opportunities for either side.
The first real opportunity came in the 29th minute when Seguer played in Beldjilali one-on-one with Sofiane Khediria who did well to deny the USMA midfielder. USMA continued to threaten mainly through Youcef Beliali who was given a false 9 type of role. USMA thought they had a penalty when Belaili wonderfully released Zinedine Ferhat who could have shot but decided to go down one on one under a weak challenge that resulted in him getting booked for simulation.
Towards the end of the half, ES Setif started to keep possession better and threaten more going forward with Djhanit and Benyettou leading the attacks. Ziaya looked isolated upfront, the veteren forward stumbled on one or two half chances but couldn’t make much of the opportunities. First half ended goalless.
USM Alger came out stronger after the break, kept possession much better looking really confident on the ball. 15 minutes into the second half, USM Alger broke the deadlock with a well deserved opener after Ferhat picked out Seguer with a pin point cross who headed in to give USMA the lead. Madoui then made a tactical change bringing on Rait in midfield to help keep possession better and control the midfield but Ziaya continued to look isolated in attack and with time running out, Setif needed something desperately.
Things went worse for Setif, 27 minutes into the second half center-back Nacereddine Khoualed pounced onto a Belailli free kick to make it to 2-0 USM Alger in Setif. This was easily one of the worst performances by the champions in recent times especially at home.
The home team had no choice but to go all out in attack seeking a comeback. Madoui’s side came close to reducing the deficit from a corner that Arrousi head just wide from point blank range. Seven minutes from time, substitute Korbia managed to pull one back just minutes after coming on from a corner that Benyettou flicked on and the substitute tapped in, the crowd started to believe again and Setif carried on to attack.
Towards the end it was clear Madoui’s men were struggling physically, USMA were winning individual battles all over the pitch managing to hold onto there lead and register a fantastic first away win in this years CAF Champions League group stage.
Next USM Alger will host Al Merriekh whereas ES Setif will travel only 25km to play MC El Eulma in another Algerian derby in the second round of group stage matches in 2 weeks time.