In Congo-Brazzaville, the 2023-2024 national league 1 soccer championship kicks off on November 11 and the teams are already in battle order.Each has its own strategy, but all have the same objective: the trophy.
“The fight promises to be intense”
Like cops on the beat!If the observation may be wrong, that’s at least the impression given by V Club Mokanda de Pointe-Noire some seven days before the start of the 2023-2024 edition of the national Ligue 1 soccer championship.And the pace of training has accelerated from two to six sessions a week. “We’re no longer allowed any distractions, let alone mistakes, given the intensity of the battle ahead,” admits assistant coach Cyr Niaty.
Like last season, V Club face AS JUK from Kintelé (a commune in Brazzaville’s northern suburbs), who beat them 1-0 at the capital’s Stade Massamba Debat on the opening day but this time V Club are at home. A confidence-booster.“We’ve already had two meetings in our history. And we’re perfectly even, having beaten them 2-1 in the return leg (April 23, 2023, editor’s note). We respect our opponents,” promises Niaty, with his sights firmly set on a top-5 finish. Last year, they finished in 9th place.
AS Otoho aim to retain their crown
As for six-time defending champions AS Otoho d’Oyo, their thirst for titles doesn’t seem to be quenched yet. Their sights are already set on the trophy and there’s no shortage of weapons.“Preparation is going normally. We’ve won 4 of our five warm-up matches, scoring 11 goals against two conceded to our opponents. That’s why we’re asking the fans not to be disappointed. They must support the team as they should”, declared Guillaume Osseté, a member of AS Otoho’s technical staff. Inter Club have been warned.
Etoile du Congo on course for continental glory?
Having finished last season in third place, Etoile du Congo, the club from the Congolese capital, has no intention of resigning itself and is aiming a little higher this year.“We’re going to work together to put Etoile du Congo back where it belongs and get back into African competitions next season,” warns Clément Stéphane Betho, president of Etoile du Congo, who play AS Vegas on November 12.
“We’ve been preparing for almost three months now.We’re in the process of making corrections in all areas.And tactically, we’re working on transitions and set-pieces. In other words, everything’s going well. We finished third last season. But this year, we’re aiming for the top two places,” promises Etoile du Congo manager Roch Toussaint Service.
Watch out for the newcomers!
But watch out for a trick match, as the newly-promoted club will not be resigning itself to the fact that it has no intention of limiting the damage. They could create the first sensation of this season’s Congolese championship.“After the play-offs, which were very intense, we had to take a bit of a rest. We’re preparing quietly. Mentally, we’re getting ready to meet some pretty lofty expectations. So, we’re preparing ourselves accordingly to stay in Ligue 1” Oubleyon Keya Semahé, coach of AS Vegas.
FC Kondzo undergoes a rejuvenation
Having rejuvenated their squad, FC Kondzo, who play Jeunesse Sportive de Talangaï (JST) on November 11, are looking to build an ambitious project.“We started late. But we’re making the best of it and we’re going to fight hard with our rejuvenated squad,” explains FC Kondzo coach Angeor Koumba.
Reigning runners-up Diables noirs are expected to fight hard to dethrone AS Otoho and reach the CAF Cup group stage for the first time.
Congo: League 1 Matchday 1 fixtures
AS Otoho-Inter Club
V Club-AS JUK
AS Vegas-Étoile du Congo
Nouvelle Génération-Diables noirs
AC Léopards-AS Cheminots
L’article est apparu en premier sur Sport News Africa.