AS Vita Club earned an important victory on Saturday to kickstart their CAF Champions League group stage campaign, defeating Algeria’s JS Kabylie 1-0 in Brazzaville. Lema Mabidi’s goal in the 65th minute gives VClub their first three points in Group A to leave the group wide open with the Kinshasa team level on three points with defending CAFCL champions Wydad AC. JS Kabylie remain level with Petro de Luanda on four points in the top-2 spots with their next fixture being against VClub at home in two weeks.
The pressure was on VClub following a 2-1 defeat in their opener against Petro de Luanda and Les Dauphins Noirs needed to take advantage of a second home match at their CAFCL home across the border in Brazzaville. JSK did well to disrupt VClub in an opening forty-five minutes that featured few threats on goal apart from a Salim Boukhenchouche free kick that was pushed away by VClub goalkeeper Farid Ouédraogo just before halftime.
VClub improved their performance after the halftime break and the JSK goal was soon under sustained pressure. Guy Magema had an excellent chance to open the scoring in the 50th minute when Marouk Tchakei’s free kick bounced through to the far post but the defender sent his header over from close range.
Fifteen minutes later the match’s only goal arrived for the home supporters. A Merveille Wamba cross from the right wing was punched out beyond the edge of the penalty area by JSK goalkeeper Abderrahmane Medjadel where Mabidi collected the ball. Mabidi slipped past Boukhenchouche and sent an accurate low shot into the corner past Medjadel to give VClub the lead. JSK had a couple of looks in the final half hour to level but the Algerian club’s struggles to finish continued and it was three points to the Kinshasa club when the full time whistle blew.
Highlights are below.