AS Vita coach Florent Ibenge: Everyone expects us to win Confederation Cup

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The Congolese giants are dealing with the high expectations placed on them to win silverware in the continent

AS Vita coach Florent Ibenge is aware of the anticipation on them to win the Caf Confederation Cup ahead of their semifinal, return leg against Al-Masry at home on Wednesday.

The two sides meet at Kinshasa’s Stade des Martyrs on the backdrop of a 0-0 draw recorded in the reverse fixture in Port Said three weeks ago.

“It’s a tricky match,” Ibenge told Foot.cd.

“I watched the first leg on my return from Harare again (for duty with the DR Congo national team). We had a very good match in Egypt and unfortunately we did not score.

“Now we have to redo everything. We have 120 minutes maximum to go to the end. The mind must be there, the tactics, the technique and the physical aspect must be applied at the same time.

“And it will not be obvious because we will have to let go to get the win without leaving any space. This team is not in the semifinals for nothing. We will need maximum concentration because everyone already sees us with the Cup while we are obliged to give everything.”

Referee Bernard Camille from the Seychelles will handle the match.

With nine Confederation Cup goals this season, on-fire AS Vita striker Jean-Marc Makusu-Mundele is fit for the match and could be on hand to haunt the visitors.

Defender Djuma Shabani has a knack of scoring crucial goals, giving assurance to Ibenge that goals could come from any department in his side, especially with a strong and intimidating 70 000 throng Stade de Martyrs supporting them.

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On the other hand, Al-Masry are in the semi's for the first ever time, and are unbeaten in 13 straight Confederation Cup matches, a run that could be a cause for concern for AS Vita.

Coached by Egypt great Hossam Hassan, Al-Masry have been enjoying the exploits of Palestinian forward Mahmoud Wadi who was the star of both legs in the quarter-finals with important goals that carried them into this stage.

Ahmed Gomaa, with five goals in the tournament, and Islam Issa who has found the back of the net four times, could be the men to carry the day for Al-Masry together with Mohamed Grendo.

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