A goal in each half helped JS Kabylie to fend off a late charge from NAPSA Stars of Zambia in their 2-1 CAF Confederation Cup victory on Wednesday, securing top spot in Group B for the Algerian side. The result caps off an excellent late charge from JSS, whose crucial road victory at Cotonsport in the previous matchday saw them through to the quarter-finals. Cotonsport lost to defending CAFCC champions RS Berkane but RSB’s defense was already ended with a shock defeat to NAPSA Stars previously, making their last day victory irrelevant.
Mohamed Benchaira provided the opener in the 29th minute for Kabylie to maintain their steady form, heading in a corner-kick that was flicked on by Ahmed Kerroum. NAPSA Stars were a bit of a challenge in the early stages but were no match for a more clinical Algerian side. Benchaira turned provider on the second goal in the 57th minute by crossing for young striker Kouceila Boualia to volley home. Zambian legend Emmanuel Mayuka came on as a late substitute and the former Southampton man scored a consolation goal late on, his fifth of the competition.
Set piece specialist Omar Namsaoui showed off his technical ability with a candidate for goal of the tournament in the 9th minute of RS Berkane’s victory. The right-back unleashed a brilliant strike from over 30 yards out that sailed beyond Cotonsport goalkeeper Narcisse Nlend. Veteran forward Hamdi Laachir applied the second for RSB in the 52nd minute by following up Djibril Ouattara’s saved effort to knock in the rebound. The visiting side from Cameroon found a late goal to cut the deficit in half but won out in the end knowing they already had advanced to the quarter-finals.
Highlights from Wednesday’s action is below.