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CAF Champions League

Stakes high as CS Constantine host Ismaily in Caf Champions League tie

18:25 GMT 01/03/2019
Victory over Ismaily will see CS Constantine shoot to the top of Group C and edge closer to a maiden Caf Champions League quarter-final berth.

CS Constantine will be attempting to place themselves on the cusp of reaching the Caf Champions League knockout phase, while Ismaily are keen to move up from Group C basement when the two sides clash at Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui on Saturday.

Constantine, who are Algerian champions, are unbeaten in the ongoing continental campaign in which they have conceded just once and scored 10 goals.

They come up against an Ismaily side stranded at the foot of the group with just a single point after three games.

The two sides drew 1-1 in the reverse leg in Alexandria last weekend, with Constantine equalising deep into stoppage time, thanks to an Emad Hamdi own goal that saved the Algerians from succumbing to their first defeat since the preliminary rounds.

Constantine French coach Denis Lavagne feels Saturday’s return fixture is a decisive encounter that stands between them and qualification for the knockout phase of the competition.

“The return match will be decisive in validating our qualification for the quarter-finals. The goal is to win, and a victory to validate our qualifying ticket,” Lavagne was quoted as saying by Algerian publication El Watan.

Victory will see Constantine return to the top of the group with three points clear at the summit.

While they would have made great strides towards reaching the last eight, confirmation of a place at that stage will, however, depend on how they perform away against current leaders TP Mazembe and at home to third-placed Club Africain in the following two games.

Constantine have never reached the Caf Champions League quarter-finals before.

For Ismaily, they desperately need to win as a draw or defeat will rule them out of contention for a quarter-final berth.