When JS Kabylie have needed a goal at crucial times this CAF Confederation Cup campaign, the Algerian club have delivered and the trend continued away from home in their 1-0 first leg victory over Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien. Each team had a penalty kick opportunity but Firas Chaouat misfired his effort over the bar in first half stoppage time for Sfaxien while Kabylie’s Rida Bensayah came through on his spot kick early in the second half to make the difference.
Kabylie had their fair share of opportunities in the first half in a very even match. Mohamed Benchaira had an open look from just inside the penalty area in the 13th minute but sent his shot over the bar. With ten minutes remaining in the first half an inswinging free-kick from Kabylie caused all sorts of trouble for the Sfaxien defense but nobody could put a touch on goal to trouble goalkeeper Mohamed Hedi Gaaloul. Sfaxien’s penalty kick chance came at the end of the half when Kabylie keeper Oussama Benbout clumsily knocked over a Sfaxien attacker while trying to claim the ball, but Chaouat sent his spot kick into orbit and it was 0-0 by halftime.
It was more of the same even play after the halftime break but Kabylie would soon have their opportunity. Right on the 60 minute mark a speculative shot attempt from distance ricocheted off the arm of a CSS defender and the referee pointed to the spot. Unlike Chaouat’s try, Rida Bensayah put his effort low and to the corner just beyond Gaaloul and JSK had a lead to defend.
Only a couple of minutes later Kabylie should have made it a two-goal lead but a dramatic intervention from the CSS defense kept the shot out. In the end JSK held out well as they have throughout the competition and take an earned lead back to Algeria.
Highlights are below.