African champions TP Mazembe
Friday Feb 19, 2016. 15:52
Africans champions TP Mazembe will be fired-up by the recent triumph of DR Congo at the African Nations Championship in Rwanda when they gun for a third CAF Super Cup against Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in Lubumbashi on Saturday.
DRC win second CHAN crown
Earlier this month, DRC won a second African Nations Championship reserved for players featuring in their home leagues when they thumped Mali 3-0 in the final.
They were deserved winners after they won the inaugural tournament in the Ivory Coast in 2009.
Several Mazembe stars including skipper Joel Kimwaki and striker Jonathan Bolingi were part of this latest international conquest and they were rewarded by the country’s President with brand-new 4x4s.
The five-time African champions have clinched the prestigious Super Cup twice, in 2010 and 2011.
But Les Corbeaux
, or ‘The Ravens’, will be without Tanzania international striker Mbwana Samatta, who joined Belgian club Genk in January after four seasons at the Congolese club, who line up players from Zambia, the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Tanzania.
‘Samagoal’ was named CAF best African player based in Africa last year after his goals helped them to a fifth Champions League crown.
Frenchman Patrice Carteron has also quit and he has been replaced by countryman Hubert Velud, who has already made a name for himself in Algeria and was also coach of Togo.
Velud said on arrival last month that all those involved with the club know they have to keep winning titles.
“When you are at a great club in Africa like TPM (Mazembe), the only reason for living for both coaches and players is to keep on winning titles. And we must think about this every morning,” he tasked his new team.
They played out a goalless draw in a local derby on Wednesday at Lupopo to prepare for Saturday’s showdown against Etoile du Sahel, who have also won the Super Cup twice, in 1998 and 2008. They were also runners-up in 2004 and 2007.
They currently lead the Tunisian league with 41 points from 16 matches, two points ahead of rivals Esperance.
Etoile, who defeated South Africa’s Orlando Pirates to clinch their second Confederation Cup last year, parade Alaya Brigui, Diogo da Silva Farias and Hamza Lahmar, who have scored five goals apiece this season in the domestic championship.
Striker Ahmed Akaichi was one of the top scorers with four goals at the African Nations Championships in Rwanda, where Tunisia were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
However, the Sousse club, known as ‘The Red Devils’, will be without star defender Hamdi Nagguez, who picked up an injury in a recent local league game.
Algeria’s ES Setif won last year’s Super Cup when they defeated Egyptian giants Al Ahly 6-5 on penalties after the teams played to a 1-1 draw in Blida.