Caf Confederation Cup Quarter-Finals: Al-Masry push for maiden continental silverware, AS Vita host RSB Berkane

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Perennial continental campaigners Raja Casablanca, AS Vita and USM Alger are pushing for the Caf Confederation Cup title

Egyptian side Al-Masry’s hunt for their first ever continental title faces a stern challenge when they clash with USM Alger in a quarter-final, first leg match at home on Sunday.

With other Egyptian giants Al-Ahly and Zamalek enjoying a track record of success in Caf inter-club competitions, Al-Masry are under the spotlight to emulate their compatriots.

But Algerian side USM Alger stand in their way in this quest as Al-Masry coach and Egyptian football legend Hossam Hassan braces up for a “milestone” match in their campaign.

“We are having a good run in this year's continental competition,” Hassan told Cafonline.com

“There are some flaws that I'm working on, but overall I'm satisfied with my players and the way they're doing their job.

“Facing USM Alger is a pivotal milestone in our campaign. They are a good side and we respect them well, but we will do our best to win and reach the semi-finals.”

Al-Masry go into this match boasting an inspiring home record in which they have won 14 of their previous 16 continental games, with the other two matches being a draw and a defeat.

Al Masry’s strikers Mohamed Abdel Latif Grendo, Ahmed Gomaa and Islam Issa carried their team in the group stages with crucial goals and are now expected to continue with their fine form.

Elsewhere in Congo, CARA Brazzaville host Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca at the Stade Alphonse Massamba.

Much of the focus would be on Raja’s 22-year-old striker Mahmoud Benhalib who scored seven goals in six group stage matches.

His seven goals were half of Raja’s total in that phase as they are currently the competition’s top-scoring side.

Together with Zakaria Hadraf who managed three goals in the group stage, CARA Brazzaville could be in for a tough afternoon.

Raja go into this match on the backdrop of the 6-0 walloping of Aduana Stars in their final group game.

This is in contrast to CARA Brazzaville who lost their last group match to Enyimba but managed to sail through to the last eight.

But what could be worrisome for Raja is that CARA Brazzaville won all their home group matches, posing themselves as a great danger to the Moroccans.

In Kinshasa, RSB Berkane’s fine run in the Caf Confederation Cup come under scrutiny when they meet DR Congolese giants AS Vita.

Berkane have been enjoying a good season in Africa after topping their group and now face an Vita side with massive experience in Caf inter club competitions.

It would be the third time for Vita to meet Moroccan opponents this term, after twice avoiding defeat against Raja Casablanca in the group phase.

First, Vita held Raja 0-0 away before beating the Moroccan giants 2-0 in Kinshasa.

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Vita have won all their home matches in this competitions this season, scoring more than two goals in each match.

With striker Jean-Marc Makusu in good form in the tournament with three goals to his name, AS Vita could provide a stern test for a solid Berkane defence which conceded just two goals in six group stage games.

Now on the road again, Berkane have not been bad travelers, beating Sudanese giants Al-Hilal and Mozambican side UD Songo away.

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