MC Alger retain continental hopes despite CRB defeat

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MC Alger defender Rachid Bouhenna believes that the Algerian heavyweights remain contenders for the CAF Confederation Cup as Mouloudia prepare for Saturday's meeting with Club Africain.

MCA have endured an unconvincing start to the Algerian league season, with their opening victory over US Biskra being followed up by an underwhelming home draw with ES Setif, before Tuesday's defeat by CR Belouizdad.

Their muddled league form comes in contrast to their strong continental form, where they cruised through the group stage - amassing 11 points before being defeated 4-0 by CS Sfaxien in the final dead rubber.

This weekend, they host Club Africain in Algiers, with the Tunisian giants qualifying for the knockouts as Group A winners, although their vulnerabilities were exposed in away defeats by KCCA and FUS Rabat.

"This is an important game for us and we mustn't fail," Bouhenna told Competition.dz. "We know that it's going to be a tricky meeting in which we need to stay concentrated.

"We mustn't forget that right since the beginning, we've talked about the [Confederation Cup], and it's our objective this season," he added. "We've had a great run and we now have to continued on this path."

MC Alger may well take encouragement from Club Africain's miserable start to their own league campaign, in which they've suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of Stade Tunisien and JS Kairouan, after taking four points from their opening two matches.

"We know that if we win this meeting, and if we qualify for the next stage of the competition, it'll be much easier for us to win [the cup]," Bouhenna concluded.