Africa: Paqueta Issues Rallying Cry Ahead of Belouizdad's Group Stage Opener

CS Belouizdad coach Marcos Paqueta has called on the Algerian club's passionate fans to roar them to victory in Friday's TotalEnergies CAF Champions League group stage opener against Young Africans.

Belouizdad host the Tanzanians at Stade du 5 Juillet in their Group B curtain-raiser aiming to exorcise last season's painful exit to the same opponents.

But Brazilian tactician Paqueta sent a defiant message at his pre-match press conference, stating: "We don't fear anyone in Africa."

While respectful of Young Africans' quality, Paqueta stressed: "What happened last year does not worry me or put me under pressure."

Instead he urged travelling supporters to create an intimidating atmosphere that inspires Belouizdad onwards to three vital points.

"I call on our fans to come strongly to the stadium, as we urgently need your encouragement," Paqueta implored.

Young goalkeeper Alexis Guendouz echoed his coach's rallying cry, admitting: "We desperately need the great support of our fans to keep the points in Algeria."

Last season's 4-2 aggregate loss to Young Africans lingers painfully for Belouizdad.

But Paqueta and his players know a boisterous home crowd could help banish those memories by propelling them to victory first up.

If Belouizdad harbour TotalEnergies CAF Champions League ambitions, now is the time to showcase their pedigree. Starting fast on Friday is essential with giants Al Ahly also in Group B.

"We must be confident," declared Paqueta. With the fans' backing, Belouizdad will believe anything is possible.

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