ES Setif 1-1 (2-2) AS Vita Club: Black Eagles win Caf Champions League

Algerian club Entente Sportive Setif are the new Caf Champions League winners after seeing off the challenge of Vita Club 3-3 on aggregate on Saturday

Entente Sportive Setif won on away goals to lift the 2014 Caf Champions League at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida, Algeria on Saturday night.

Both sides settled for a 2-2 draw in the first leg played in Kinshasa last Sunday, with the two away goals advantage in favour of the Algerians, who are yet to be beaten at home by a Congolese club.

Vita Club quickly cured their hangover from the reverse fixture and looked a better squad than they were last week.

Coach Florent Ibenge had warned his charges to ignore the outcome of the first leg and engage the North Africans as if it was their career’s final match.

Half a dozen Congolese players laid siege to Setif’s box, this was moments after kickoff, knocking the ball from side to side in search of a breach.

Guy Lusadisu Basisila won the first corner kick of the encounter for Vita Club, but his effort was parried by goalkeeper Sofiane Khedairia, as the visitors pushed hard for an opener.

Luvumbu Nzinga delivered a close-range free kick which floated into the gloves of Khedairia as Vita continued to dominate play by the quarter hour mark.

Attendance was fewer than the 100,000 fans that packed the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa last Sunday. However, the host side enjoyed warm cheers each time a player delivered an enticing action.

Akram Djahnit surged down the right wing and cut the ball into Vita’s box for Benjamin Ondo, who screwed a right foot shot wide off target, as Setif began to find their rhythm by the 20th minute.

The Algerians were being cautious about overlapping to avoid exposing their back half to counterattacks.

The session balanced by the 30th minute when the Congolese began to retreat in the thick of the action from the opposing side.

Mabele Bawaka claimed a ball from the edge of Vita's box and launched a pacy counter towards Setif's area, but he was soon crowded out and robbed of the ball. A similar action from Basisila minutes later was cleared with ease by the hosts’ defence.

The first half ended goalless with Setif as tentative African champions following the 2-2 outcome in the first leg.

Setif began the second stanza on a strong note, with men pouring forth this time with little regard for their defence.

Sofiene Younes was set up for a close-range strike after a free kick from the middle of the park. The 31-year-old Algeria international evaded an onrushing defender, lunged towards the box and unleashed his effort past goalkeeper Lukong Bongaman to put his side on top at 1-0 and 3-2 on aggregate.

Five minutes later, Vita Club levelled through Lema Mabidi, who struck from long range to revive hope for the central Africans, who would pile the pressure on Setif for much of the second half.

At 3-3 on aggregate, a goal from the Congolese could've handed them their second title after they first won in 1973.

Second half entrant Kanda Mukok brought some strength and speed to Vita’s attacking line, but their efforts were restricted with just shot passes. 

Vita controlled the flow of the match until the last quarter but were still unable to snatch the winner, as the hosts maintained a formidable and effective unit in midfield and defence.

Mohamed Benyettou had a clear-cut chance to drive the last nail into Vita’s coffin when he found himself unmarked in the box with just the goalkeeper to beat, but was too slow to react before he was dispossessed off the ball.

The game ended 1-1, with Setif winning on an aggregate of 3-3 to claim their second Champions League title after their first win in 1988.

Setif will represent Africa at the Fifa Club World Cup in Morocco next month.