18 March 2019

Africa: Close but No Cigar for Club Africain

Club Africain were able to overcome Ismaily SC of Egypt, Saturday, in Rades after a 1-0 victory.

The only goal of the game came from a penalty courtesy of Ghazi Ayadi 15 minutes before time.

There was nothing at stake for Ismaily who were sitting at the bottom of group C. This put them at ease knowing they have nothing to lose.

Club Africain on the other hand, had their minds set on the quarter finals. They desperately needed to win and wait to hear news from Lubumbashi.

Club Africain had no time to waste going into full thrust mode since the 1st minute of the game. Zouhaier Dhaouadi penetrated Ismaily's defences but his effort was cut short with a tackle. Bilel Khefifi went for the rebound but Mohamed Elsayed was ready to save the ball into a corner.

There wasn't much action throughout the rest of the 1st half.

Seconds before the end of the 1st half, Ismaily Captian, Mohamed Youssef's shot found Aymen Mathlouthi who deflected it into a corner with a skilled dive.

Victor Zvunka opted to bring in Adam Taous for Yassine Chamakhi in hopes of adding more life into his attack.

At the 1 hour mark, Bassirou Compaore tried his luck at scoring but once again, Mohamed Elsayed was ready to save the shot and the defenders took care of the rest , clearing any danger that might follow.

15 minutes before time, Zakaria Labidi was fouled in the forbidden area and Club Africain were awarded a penalty. Ghazi Ayadi stepped up to the spot and successfully converted it, breaking Ismaily's deadlock and scoring the only goal of the match.

However, this victory was not enough for Club Africain to proceed to the quarter finals. In Lubumbashi, TP Mazembe's 2-0 victory over CS Constantine ended Club Africain's short journey in the CAF Champions League, as Mazembe and Constantine will be the ones proceeding to the final 8.

Reactions:

Victor Zvunka (Head Coach, Club Africain)

"I'm happy with this victory. We had other opportunities that we failed to convert. We managed to score from a penalty. I think the players gave it their best. We knew from the start that it wasn't going to be an easy game. We had many players absent but still, i congratulate my players for the effort they made.

Zouhaier Dhaouadi (Attacker, Club Africain)

"losing the first game in the group stage made our task more difficult. We have no one to blame but ourselves. We gave it our best effort. Their were many mistakes that need working on but the team is improving with each round. Hopefully from now till the end of the season or next year, we'll be able to go far in the competition"

Čedomir Janevski (Head Coach, Ismaily SC)

"I want to congratulate Club Africain for this victory. At the same time, i want to congratulate my young team who gave an excellent match despite never having played against such big crowds in the CAF Champions League. They have done everything they were asked to do. We lost 6 points against Club Africain due to penalties. I wish them the best in their upcoming matches"

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