Etoile du Sahel, TP Mazembe set for heavyweight clash

Etoile du Sahel, TP Mazembe set for heavyweight clash
Roger Claver Assale, TP Mazembe (l) is challenged by Taban Kamusoko of Young Africans during the CAF Confederation Cup football match between Young Africans and TP Mazembe at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 28 June 2016 ©BackpagePix

by BackPageTXT

Thursday Sep 15, 2016. 15:00

Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel and DR Congo’s TP Mazembe will meet for a heavyweight bout in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup semifinal on Saturday evening. Kick-off at the Olympic Stadium in Sousse it set for 23h00 CAT.

Etoile earned their spot in the final four by finishing second behind Morocco’s FUS Rabat in Group B, while TP Mazembe topped Group A ahead of Algeria’s MO Bejaia.

The Red Devils – the defending Confed Cup champions – are looking to progress into a fourth final in the second-tier continental competition: aside from their triumphs in 2006 and 2015, they were also runners up to CS Sfaxien in 2008.

Etoile will have to do without key defender Ammar Jemel, who is set to miss three weeks of action in the wake of knee surgery, while coach Faouzi Benzarti has been banned for two years by the Tunisian FA after having a touchline brawl with a member of Esperance de Tunis’ technical team in a cup match last month.

As for TP Mazembe, the DR Congo side are looking to reach the Confed Cup final for the second time after finishing as runners-up to CS Sfaxien in 2013. They have enjoyed success on the continental stage in recent times, winning their fifth Champions League title less than a year ago.

Coach Hubert Velud has a full squad to choose from, with the Lubumbashi-based club primed and ready to try and clinch their first CAF Confederation Cup title.

The return match is set for September 25 at Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi. Sudanese referee El Fadil Mohamed will take charge of the action on Saturday night.

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