Algeria’s ES Setif skipped to second spot in Group B of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League after a 2-0 victory over South African debutants AmaZulu in Algiers on Saturday.
Setif made up for the 1-0 loss they suffered against Usuthu in South Africa a fortnight ago to move to six points, enhancing their chances of making it into the quarter finals.
Group B remains wide open with two matches left to play after Horoya’s 2-1 victory at home over Raja Club Athletic earlier in the day handed them a lifeline as they moved to three points.
Setif picked the cue and clinched three vital points courtesy of first half goals from Riad Benayad and Akram Djahnit.
The home side were off to a hunt from the word go and broke the deadlock after 10 minutes. Benayad zoomed into the box after picking a delightful through ball from Ahmed Kendouci before slamming the ball home.
In the 24th minute, Benayad almost grabbed his second of the evening when he played a one-two change of passes with Zoubir Motrani, but his shot was blocked by the keeper.
Amazulu struggled to create chances and had two sniffs at goal in the opening exchanges. Keegan Buchanan struck a freekick towards Thambela Sikhakhane at the backpost but the defender could not connect on target.
In the 36th minute, Luvuyo Memela attempted his luck with a setpiece from range, but he lifted it a few inches over the bar.
The home side however doubled their tally at the stroke of halftime when Djahnit finished off neatly inside the box after some quick change of passes with Benayad.
In the second half, Amazulu piled the pressure but once again, their ball in the final third let them down. In the 64th minute they came close when a cross from Augustine Mulenga found the path of Tapelo Xoki, but the midfielder headed wide.
Towards the end it was Setif who had the chances and keeper Veli Mothwa had to make two fine saves, denying Abdelhak Debbari’s shot inside the box before also putting away Benayad’s attempt at a brace.