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CAFCL: JS Kabylie stun African champions Wydad in a dramatic finish

Little was expected from Algeria’s JS Kabylie in Group A of the 2022-23 CAF Champions League but the club currently in the relegation zone of their domestic league is top of the group after topping reigning African champions Wydad AC of Morocco 1-0 on Friday in Algiers. The team from Tizi Ouzou turned in an excellent defensive performance before finding a late winner through Badreddine Souyad’s diving header. With four points from two matches, JSK move to the top of the group as Wydad’s struggles continue with a defeat to start their group stage campaign.

There was plenty of controversy in the buildup with Wydad experiencing a hostile reception upon their arrival in Algeria and the tense atmosphere carried over into Friday’s match. The first half featured more physical challenges than goal scoring opportunities but all the signs were there from a spirited performance by the hosts who looked more threatening in the opening forty-five minutes.

Action picked up after the halftime break and it was JSK who continued to grow in confidence with their direct style of play. Wydad goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnouti was called into action in the 55th minute, diving to save a dangerous low shot from Noufel Ould Hamou after the midfielder was set up by influential forward Dadi Mouaki. Mouaki created another open shot ten minutes later but Lyes Benyoucef wasted a good look by sending his effort over the bar.

JSK continued to push however and made their breakthrough in the 87th minute to a rapturous response from the home support. Substitute Kouceila Boualia provided excellent service from his corner kick and Souyad fearlessly dove into a powerful header that left Tagnouti with no chance. Wydad frantically pushed forward to find an equalizer but despite putting the JSK goal under heavy pressure the hosts managed to hold out until the referee blew his whistle for full time.

Highlights from the encounter are below.

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