ES Sétif clinch CAF Champions League title
ES Sétif won the CAF Champions League title for the second time in their history after a 26-year wait against a disappointed AS Vita Club side in Blida.
Securing a 1-1 draw at home, the Black Eagles win on aggregate based on away goals after the first leg ended 2-2 in Kinshasa one week ago.
ES Sétif: Sofiane Khedairia, Mohamed Lagraa, Farid Mellouli, Abdelghani Demmou, Amine Megatli, Toufik Zerara, Benjamin Ze Ondo, Akram Djahnit,El-Hedi Belameiri, Abdelmalek Ziaya, Sofiane Younes.
Vita Club: Bongaman Lukong, Bawaka Mabele, Simbi Ebunga, Issoufou Dayo, Onga Munganga, Lema Mabidi, Guy Lusadisu, Paolo Mouegni, Nzinga Luvumbu, Ndombe Mubele, Yunus Sentamu
Both teams were looking for their second title in Africa’s elite club competition, as the first whistle was blown in Mustapha Tchaker Stadium. The Congolese side had more of the ball but the first half ended with very few scoring opportunities as both teams failed to produce in the final third.
The game sprung to life early in the second half when Sofiane Younes opened the scoring for the home side in the 50th minute with a close range tap-in; Belameiri broke through on the right flank and sent the ball across the six-yard box to find the unmarked Younes at the far post.
Sétif’s lead lasted only four minutes as Mabidi found himself alone at the edge of the area to capitalise on a poor defensive clearance with a powerful finish in the top corner giving Khedairia no chance. Vita Club had most of the possession but little to show for it as the Algerians sat deep and managed to hold on to the result.
The triumph concluded an incredible story for ES Sétif after they were close to withdraw from the Champions League this year.
“National football federation officials wanted us to pull out for scheduling reasons and also because it was felt our club would not be very competitive in Africa,” said their manager Kheirddine Maddoui to reporters before the game.
The title is the fifth for Algerian Clubs overall but the first since the tournament was renamed in 1997. ES Sétif will also be the first Algerian club to represent Africa in the FIFA Club World Cup, when this year’s edition kicks off in Morocco this December.
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