ES Setif recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wydad Casablanca in the 2018 CAF Champions League quarter-final first-leg game at the Stade du 8-Mai-1945 in Algeria on Friday night.
The second-leg match will take place in Morocco next weekend with Setif leading 1-0 on aggregate.
The Black Eagles began the match well and they had a chance to grab an early goal through El Habib Bougelmouna five minutes into the game.
However, the 29-year-old marksman missed the target from close range after the Wydad defence was exposed and the visitors survived a scare.
The hosts kept pushing for an early goal and they managed to break the deadlock in the 16th minute through Isla Daudi Diomande following a good move.
The Senegalese defender beat Wydad goalkeeper Yassine El Kharroubi to make it 1-0 to Setif after making a good run from midfield, before scoring from close range.
Wydad, who are the defending champions, pushed for the equalizing goal with Ismail El Haddad leading the visitors’ attack on the night.
However, Setif were able to contain Wydad until Gabonese referee Eric Arnaud Otogo-Castane blew the half-time whistle with the hosts leading 1-0.
The Wydad of Resistance pressed the Black Eagles after the restart as they looked to grab an important away goal in Algeria.
Aymane Hassouni replaced Michale Babatunde with the visitors making their first change on the hour mark as they pushed for the equalizing goal.
The hosts reacted by introducing Mustapha Boussif, who replaced goalscorer Diomande three minutes after the hour-mark as Setif looked to hold on to their lead.
Setif did not sit back in the closing stages of the game as Abdelmoumene Djabou missed the target with a curling effort with eight minutes left on the clock.
Ultimately, the match ended in a 1-0 victory in favour of Setif, who stood firm at the back in the dying minutes of the encounter.
Setif (1) 1 (Diomande 16’)
Wydad (0) 0
ES Setif: Boultif, Rebiai, Ferhani, Bedrane, Radouani, Diomande (Boussif 63’), Djabou, Sidhoum, Djahnit (Bakir 75’), Aiboud, Bouguelmouna (Banouh 88’).
Wydad Casablanca: El Kharroubi, Aarab, Noussir, Nahiri, Comara, Babatunde (Babatunde 60’), Saidi, El Karti (Thigazaoui 77’), Nakach, Ounajem, El Haddad.