Massinissa Nait climbed off the bench to score the winner in the 86th minute as Algerian side JS Kabylie came from a goal down to beat DR Congo’s AS Vita Club 2-1 and cement their hold on second spot in Group A of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League.
Marouf Tchakei’s brilliantly struck freekick from 35 yards out had given Vita the lead, but the home side mounted a comeback with defender Moussa Benzaid drawing them level before Nait scored the late winner.
The result took the Algerians to seven points at second place, while Vita drop to bottom with three points from a single victory.
Kabylie play third placed Petro de Luanda in their penultimate group match, a game that will have a massive bearing on who goes through to the quarter finals from the group.
The opening half was tightly contested with few scoring chances from both sides. JSK’s best chance was in the 32nd minute when a corner Moustapha Alili isolated at the backpost but his shot on the half volley was saved.
Vita’s best chance was in the 44th minute off an Eric Kabwe freekick whioch sailed wide.
In the second half, the tempo of the game picked up and Vita broke the deadlock just 10 minutes after the restart when Tchakei’s swerving freekick from distance curled away from the keeper leaving him rooted to his spot.
The home side immediately pushed to get back into the game and they had a chance in the 58th minute when Benzaid connected well with a header from a corner, but it sailed straight to the keeper’s arms.
But, five minutes later, he levelled the scores for the home side with a brilliant bouncing volley after connecting to a cross from the right.
The goal gave them some renewed vigor and they pushed to get a winner. They did so with four minutes of regulation left, Nait curling the ball to the far post after being flicked through by Reda Boumechra.
It was the goal they needed to firm up the victory at home, and keep their last eight hopes alive.