Algerian club JS Kabylie take a four-goal lead into the second leg of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Cup final at Tonnerre Yaounde on Sunday, expecting a record-breaking third successive triumph.
Coach Jean-Yves Chay warned his charges on Friday to guard against premature celebration after their crushing first-leg home triumph, where they scored their first goal in the third minute and totally dominated their opponents.
â€œTonnerre have nothing to lose and perhaps a point to make, so we have to be vigilant in this game. We must not start thinking about the trophy until after the game ends,â€ said the Frenchman, who took over as coach only in July.
JSK departed for Cameroon on Thursday night, taking along several of the former players who helped the club win the African Champions Cup in 1981. If they win on Sunday, it will be their sixth success in continental competition, having won the Champions Cup twice and the African Cup Winnersâ€™ Cup as well.
Eight of the current squad featured in the clubâ€™s previous two CAF Cup wins, including defender Noureddine Drioueche, who scored in the first leg.
â€œThe 4-0 score does give us some security but it will be a difficult game because we are playing away from home. There are still 90 minutes to play and anything can happen,â€ Drioueche said on Thursday.
Tonnerre have not given up, although no team has ever come back from a four-goal deficit in an African club competition final.
The team have been cloistered at a training camp near Douala for the last 10 days but are hampered by the suspension of midfielder Jean-Pierre Mani, sent off in the first half of the first leg.
Expected to return to the line-up, however, are Liberian defender Ben Teekloh and fullback Nguini Mendouga, who missed the first leg thorough suspension.
Captain Alain Guy Olinga said this week that the home sideâ€™s hopes rested on an early goal and cutting out on any errors.
Sundayâ€™s second leg is to be refereed by Hicham Guirat of Tunisia.
Previous winners in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Cup:
1992 - Shooting Stars (Nigeria)
1993 - Stella Abidjan (Ivory Coast)
1994 - Bendel Insurance (Nigeria)
1995 - Etoile Sahel (Tunisia)
1996 - Kawkab Marrakesh (Morocco)
1997 - Esperance (Tunisia)
1998 - CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)
1999 - Etoile Sahel (Tunisia)
2000 - JS Kabylie (Algeria)
2001 - JS Kabylie (Algeria)
rFrance striker Nicolas Anelka, who refused a call-up for Wednesdayâ€™s friendly match against Yugoslavia, said on Friday that he had been treated in an offhand and disrespectful manner.
Anelka has not played for France since April, this year.
Kabylie set for record win