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CR Belouizdad and ES Sétif draw to start off Algeria Ligue 1 Professionnelle seasons

Algeria’s representatives in CAF competition started off their league schedules over the weekend with defending league champions CR Belouizdad, runners-up ES Sétif and 2020-21 CAF Confederation Cup runners-up JS Kabylie all getting things started. It was not a satisfying first match for any of the above listed teams as all three had to settle for draws, and will have to look up at teams above them on the table until they can catch up.

CR Belouizdad did brilliantly at the end of last season to overtake Sétif after an exhausting CAF Champions League campaign had them making up matches, but the emotional ups and downs from their aggregate victory over ASEC Mimosas a week ago may have affected their performance while drawing 1-1 against CS Constantine. It was a former CRB player who burned them on Friday as Benin international forward Marcellin Koukpo opened the scoring on eighteen minutes before Kheiredine Merzougui rescued his club with an 85th minute equalizer. CRB are dealing with multiple players departing from last season and will need to put it together quickly this season.

Sétif had a difficult opponent to start out with, facing a JS Kabylie side that are stubborn and determined to improve on a disappointing end to the 2020-21 league season that saw them finish in 5th place. The teams drew 0-0 and outside of an early opportunity that ended in the side netting for ESS, the result appeared to be fair to both teams. In the most lopsided result on the weekend, USM Alger convincingly defeated top division new side RC Arbaâ 4-0 with goals from four different players.

Highlights from all three games are below.

CR Belouizdad 1-1 CS Constantine

JS Kabylie 0-0 ES Sétif

USM Alger 4-0 RC Arbaâ

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