Matchday 2 of the CAF LDC group stage kicks off this Friday, December 1, with 2 fixtures. Medeama host CR Bélouizdad and Al-Hilal Ondurman welcome ES Tunis. The 2 matches will be played simultaneously at 4pm GMT.
Medeama vs CR Bélouizdad
On Matchday 2 of the CAF Champions League, Medeama will be looking to bounce back from their heavy 3-0 defeat by Al Ahly in Egypt. A win would give them the same number of points as their hosts. A defeat, on the other hand, and the Ghanaian team will be dropped in the standings and will see their chances of joining the African Top 8 (CAF CL) become more than slim. That's why Medeama SC coach Evans Adotey has his sights set on victory. "My mission is for Medeama to win. I don't really care about the score, all that matters to me is that my team wins (...) Even though I won't make any predictions, my mission is for Medeama to win."
CR Bélouizdad won their first match (3-0) against Young Africans of Tanzania.
A win would put them 6 points clear of a direct opponent. If, in addition, it is combined with a victory for super-favorites Al Ahly against Young Africans on Saturday December 2, qualification would be a foregone conclusion. The match is between a team with their backs against the wall, who must take the game to their opponents who want to extend their lead and be on the road to qualification.With 3 points, CR Belouizdad coach Marcos Paqueta made no bones about it in his press conference. "We're not worried about our opponents. We'll go into the match with the intention of winning," he said. Striker Lamin Jallow followed suit, adding: "We have to make sacrifices to come back to Algeria with a positive result," stressed the 27-year-old."
Al-Hilal Omdurman vs Esperance de Tunis
Sudan's Al-Hilal lost to Petro Luanda (0-1) on the first day of the CAF LDC group stage. They looked out of sorts, failing to create any clear-cut chances and the match against ES Tunis is an opportunity to get back on track at home and secure their first three points in the mini-league that will qualify 2 of the 4 teams in the group. A poor performance would confirm the impression left by the first match.
Victory is imperative to relaunch this African power house
Opposite them, however, are in-form ES Tunis, who beat ES Sahel 2-0 on Matchday 1. They will undoubtedly be out to beat Al-Hilal, who are at home in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and have a comfortable cushion for the rest of the competition. The Tunisians could decide to take a contrarian approach in this match, given that their opponents would have their backs against the wall if they failed to win on Friday.
Esperance coach Tarek Thabet is aiming for a win."Esperance are a great team and we're not afraid of any situation, whether it's a crowd or not. We want to finish top of the group and win the competition."Captain Moez Ben Chifeya is preparing for a tough match, but with the aim of pocketing all 3 points. "We're used to difficult games against big teams and it won't be any different against Hilal, who we want to beat in Dar es Salaam," he stressed.
Al-Hilal to host CAF matches in Tanzania
Al-Hilal will be without a home crowd away from home, a detail that works in the Tunisians' favor as they are playing almost on neutral ground. As Al-Hilal's Congolese coach Florent Ibenge points out: "We're in an unfortunate situation, we're not in a position to play home games where we're used to our fans pushing us to the limit."He is nevertheless aiming to win, he reassures us. "However, we're looking for nothing less than a win against Esperance, a team I know so well. Even though we clearly know that they're a great team in Africa, we'll play with pleasure to win and without pressure."
Midfielder John Manu added: "We haven't started the competition well, but we're very optimistic as a playing unit and believe we have a chance of upsetting Esperance here in Dar Es Salaam. We know it won't be easy, but we're determined to use our home away disadvantage and turn it into an advantage to win."
The 2 clubs have had 2 meetings in the past, each with a win.
— CR.BELOUIZDAD شباب بلوزداد (@Crbelouizdadoff) November 29, 2023