After weeks of Litigation decisions sorrounding Ismaily SC is back to face a tough challenge against an unbeaten Club Sportif Constantine.
1969 African champions and 2003 runners-up Ismaily will test their champions league credentials against reigning Algerian Champions Club Sportif Constantinois in a Group C clash of this years CAF Champions League at the 18,525 capacity Ismailia Stadium on Saturday February 23, 2019.
Ismaily were recently reinstated into the competition after initially being disqualified for crowd trouble in their abandoned home game against Club Africain of Tunis last month.
Coach Kheireddine Madoui’s side lost 2-0 to T P Mazembe before losing 3-0 on paper to Club Afficain, given that CAF awarded the game to the visiting Tunisian team.
Club Sportif Constantinois are on an unbeaten run in the group stage of this years tournament. They had a 1-0 win against 1991 champions Club Africain before humiliating 5 times African Champions T P Mazembe 3-0.
However, coach Denis Lavagne’s team will not be in full strength on Saturday. They will have to face Ismaily without three of their key players.
Forwards Mohamed Lamine Abid and Adil Djabout are both ruled out due to injury, as well as goal scoring central defender Nasreddine Zaalani. All three players have been key performers in Constantine’s last two champions league games, with Zaalani grabbing a goal in that 3-0 bashing of T.P Mazembe. His absence in defence could be crucial for a team that has scored 4 goals and is yet to concede in the group stage.
Even with these absences, Constantine still has enough to give Ismaily a run for their money, with the experienced Denis Lavagne who led Cotonsport of Garoua to the finals in 2008, at the helm of their technical team. The Laval born French coach can also count on the goal scoring prowess of 26 years old Cameroon forward Arouna Dang Bissene.
With no point yet to their account, the pressure is on Kheireddine Madoui to deliver in front of a very exigent Ismaily home crowd on Saturday evening. He can well count on his Namibian international striker Benson Shilongo and Ghanaian central defender Richard Baffour.
There is no room for errors again for the Mango Boys in a group where T.P Mazembe with 7 points and Constantine with 6 have made their intentions clear.
Denis Lavagne’s Sanafirs know that a win in Egypt will give them a good shout for a place in the next stage of the competition. For Ismaily a loss will be synonymous to elimination, therefore the Samba Boys have to play off their socks for a win.
It certainly promises to be a fascinating encounter and kick442.com will be there to give you all the updates.