Khaled Gourmi of MC Alger challenged by Ndumiso Ndaba of Mbabane Swallows
Saturday Jul 01, 2017. 00:14
MC Alger brushed aside Platinum Stars 2-0 in a 2017 CAF Confederation Cup, Group B match at the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers in Algeria on Friday.
As a result, the Algerian club remain at the top of the Group A table and they also advance to the quarter-finals, while fourth-placed South African side Stars bow out of the competition.
Nicknamed the Dean, Alger got off to the best possible start as they broke the deadlock just 12 minutes into the game as Dikwena’s defence looked shaky.
Stars conceded a penalty after losing possession in the middle of the park. Abderrahmane Hachoud then stepped up and converted the penalty to make it 1-0 to Alger.
The Dean looked solid at the back in the opening exchanges. Stars captain Vuyo Mere’s free-kick was cleared away by the Alger defence.
Hichem Nekkache came close to doubling Alger’s lead when his chip over Stars goalkeeper Mwenya Chibwe narrowly missed the target on the half-hour mark.
The visitors should have restored parity just before the half-time break after the Dean had lost possession in their own half as Stars pressed them.
However, Bonginkosi Ntuli fired straight at Alger goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi, who came out to deny the Stars striker from a one-on-one situation.
As a result, the first-half ended 1-0 in favour of Alger thanks to Hachoud’s well-taken penalty.
Willem Jackson, the Stars caretaker coach, made a change two minutes into the second-half – introducing Katlego Khunou for Sipho Senne.
Dikwena won a few free-kicks outside the Alger box, but they were failing to make use of them with the towering Dean defenders clearing them away.
The Dean were happy to sit back and contain Dikwena in the closing stages of the match with the visitors struggling to penetrate the home side’s defence.
Stars nearly grabbed a late equalizer when Mere’s free-kick was headed onto the crossbar by Hachoud, who came close to scoring an own-goal in the 89th minute.
Nevertheless, Nekkache sealed Alger’s victory in stoppage time when he beat Chibwe with a powerful shot from range and the home side ran out 2-0 winners.
The loss does not bode well for Platinum Stars who will take on Free State Stars in the first semfinal of the Maize Cup on July 15.
Alger (1) 2 (Hachoud 12′, Nekkache 92′)
Stars (0) 0
Alger: Chaouchi, Hachoud, Demmou,
Bouhenna, Boudebouda, Karaoui, Kacem (El Ouazani 66′), Derrardja, Mansouri (Gourmi 93′), Aouedj (Bougueche 66′), Nekkache.
Platinum Stars: Chibwe, Mnguni, Mwedihanga, Mlilo, Mpeta, Baloyi, Mere, Ng’ambi (Shilongo 77′), Senne (Khunou 47′), Mabena, Ntuli.