Underdogs USM Bel Abbes win Algerian Cup

USM Bel Abbes won the 2017/18 Algerian Cup after defeating favourites JS Kabylie at the Stade du 5 Juillet in a tense 2-1 victory.

The game was electric with a fantastic atmosphere, and Bel Abbes took the lead after just two minutes with a brilliant finish by Belahouel.

A quiet first half could not have been more different than an action packed second period. Belahouel got his second goal of the afternoon in the 49th minute, finishing superbly with a neat side-foot.

JS Kabylie then pulled a goal back as Benaldjia’s free-kick curved itself all the way into the back of the net after 55 minutes.

And just one minute later, Lamari went down the other end and hit the post for USMBA in what became an end to end encounter.

Malik Asselah, the JSK goalkeeper, was then sent off by referee Mehdi Charef for elbowing Belahouel in the box. A brilliant decision by the referee that is going to Russia this summer.

Despite being on a hat-trick and winning the spot kick, it was Bounoua who took the penalty that was saved by substitute goalkeeper Boultif with his first touch.

USM Bel Abbes then saw the game out comfortably against ten men and won their first Algerian Cup since 1991. They therefore qualify for next year’s CAF Confederation Cup.

Algerian Cup Final: JS Kabylie vs USM Bel Abbes

The stage is set for the 2017/18 Algerian Cup final as JS Kabylie take on USM Bel Abbes at the Stade du 5 Juillet on Tuesday the 1st of May, with kick-off at 4pm.

JS Kabylie have won the DZ Cup five times, whereas USM Bel Abbes have won it just once. The one time they won it was actually against JS Kabylie, in the 1991 final. Essaid Belkalem will captain the Amazigh outfit in what will be a sold out national stadium.

Both sides currently sit in mid-table in the Algerian league, and both look to be safe from relegation after a rocky season domestically. The winner of the Cup will win a place in the CAF Confederation Cup next year, which is the African version of the Europa League.

USMBA have won every Cup final they have been in, whilst JSK have been in ten finals and lost five of them. As ever, the Algerian army will play an exhibition match on the morning of the game.

JS Kabylie knocked out MC Alger on penalties to reach the final, whereas USM Bel Abbes defeated fifth division CR Zaouia with a late 94th winner. You can follow the game live on our Twitter page; @DZFootball_en.

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