Egyptian side Ismaily and their Tunisian visitors, Club Africain, will seek to revive their hopes, when both sides lock horns in Ismailia, about 120 kilometres west of Cairo in a Group C Day Two clash on Friday.
Ismaily conceded two late goals to ten-man TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi last weekend, after missing a penalty just before the break. On the other hand, Club Africain also received a last gasp shock falling at home to Algerian debutants CS Constantine.
On the back of defeats from the opening games, both sides will enter the Ismailia game knowing a defeat would serve a huge blow to their hopes of making the next round.
“We played well in Lubumbashi, but fell late against an experienced and strong side”, Ismaily coach Cedomir Janevski told the reporters.
“We should have had a draw at least. It’s history now and we will give our all against Club Africain to return on track”.
Ismaily face a defensive problem, both central defenders Mahmoud Metwally and Mohamed Magdy are suspended for the crucial match. However, Janevski is hoping Ghanaian-import Richard Baffour will be available after recovering from an injury that kept him out for a couple of weeks.
Ismaily, runners-up last season are having a poor season on the domestic front, lying in the relegation zone after 16 matches, but Janevski, who replaced Jorvan Vieira last month remains optimistic of turning around the fortunes of the ‘Yellow & Blue’ lads.
On his side, Club Africain coach Chiheb Ellili has expressed his side’s desire to win as they are targeting a knock out stage qualification.
“Losing at home to CS Constantine was tough. But we have to carry on fighting and get a positive result from Ismailia”, Ellili said as his side landed in Cairo few days ago.
It will be the second time Ismaily and Club Africain face each other in the continent’s premier club competition. Back in 1992, they locked horns in the then African Clubs Champions Cup quarter final, with Ismaily ousting the then title holders. A 3-3 draw in Tunis was followed by an Ismaily famous 3-1 victory in Ismailia to go through with 6-4 aggregate victory.
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