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Champions League: Lacklustre Vipers Bow Out

Saturday, December 22

SC Vipers 0-2 CS Constantine

Vipers’ dream of reaching the CAF Champions League group stages was ended by CS Constantine – The Venoms lost 2-0 to the Algerian side at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts never showed the urge to overturn a 1-0 first leg advantage despite the support from the vocal fans, before bowing out with a 3-0 aggregate loss.

The scoreline could have been worse for Vipers as the visitors missed plenty of opportunities, especially in the second stanza but nonetheless, it was a humiliating result for a team that had not conceded a goal at home in continental engagements.

After an odourless first half, Constantine came back recharged before breaking the deadlock when Adil Djabout headed in from a corner in the 65th minute.

The goal took all the life out of Vipers’ players and fans including the stadium announcer’s, as the hosts needed to score three unanswered goals to progress, then. The worse was yet to come.

Vipers continued to be the second best as the Algerians continued to ask more questions, and five minutes later, Constantine’s surge paid off as they doubled the lead five minutes later on – Mohammed Walid Bencherifa who was unmarked at near post, powered in header past a vulnerable Derrick Ochan to silence the stadium. It was job done for Constatine.

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This was the first time in Constantine’s history to reach the group stages of CAF Champions League.

The visitors suffered an early blow when Kadour Beldjilali was stretchered off for Walid Bencherifa in the 10th minute of the game, however, it was later on, a blessing in disguise as the new man on pitch went on target in the second half.

Vipers’ failed to use their few chances in the first stanza – In the 20th minute, Mzee Dan Sserunkuma picked a good ball from Geoffrey Wasswa but his attempt from a tight angle went an inch over the bar.

Tito Okello ran free on goal in the 40th minute before firing way wide.

In the second stanza, the addition of Duncan Sseninde for Wafula Noah looked to have added life for the hosts but they couldn’t find an edge. The team could barely create a big scoring opportunity in the final third before they were punished at the other end of the pitch.

Vipers’ only shot on target in the whole game came late in the 80th minute, with substitute Abram Ndugwa’s rocket kept out for a corner.

The loss sends Vipers to CAF Confederation cup playoffs.

Teams Used:

Vipers Starting XI:

Derrick Ochan, Bashir Asiku, Yayo Lutimba, Halid Lwaliwa, Livingstone Mulondo, Geofrey Wasswa, Brian Nkuubi, Moses Waiswa, Noah Wafula, Dan Sserunkuma, Tito Okello

CS Constantine XI: Chemseddine Rahmani, Ahmed Gagaa, Islam Chahrour, Nasreddine Zaalani, Yassine Salhi, Sid Ali, Adil Djabout, Aichi Mounir, Kadour Beldjilali, Fouad Haddad, Houcine Benayada

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