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
Friday Oct 28, 2016. 13:00
Algeria’s MO Bejaia will look to make the most of home advantage when they host DR Congo giants TP Mazembe for the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final this weekend.
The teams will meet at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida on Saturday night, with kick-off set for 21h30 CAT.
Both Bejaia and Mazembe owe their place in the final to narrow victories in the semifinals. The Algerians drew 1-1 with Morocco’s FUS Rabat and advanced on the away goals rule, while it was the same story for the DRC side against Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel.
MOB are looking to win their first CAF club competition, while Mazembe are very familiar with success on the continental stage: the Ravesn have won five CAF Champions League titles (including last year), one African Cup Winners’ Cup and three CAF Super Cups.
The Crabs have enjoyed a thorough preparation for the first leg of the final. They had a six-day training camp in Tunisia which ended this past weekend, two days of rest over Tuesday and Wednesday before regrouping at the Sidi Moussa Technical Centre in Algiers for their final planning.
"I think we took full advantage of this training to recharge our batteries and correct our mistakes to ensure the best preparation for the final which will be difficult and important to us,” said coach Nasser Sendjack.
“We still have time to fill our gaps with the last reunion planned in Sidi Moussa and be able to deliver the best possible return to the team TP Mazembe.”
TP Mazembe coach Hubert Velud believes the clash against MO Bejaia could go either way: “It will be 50-50,” he told his club’s official website.
“MOB have proved their worth and I am not surprised to find them in the final.
“I know the mentality of this team, like other Algerian teams. MOB has shown this year that they have a very determined team and what they lack in talent they make up for with fighting spirit.”
The return match will be played at the Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi on November 6. The referee for the first leg in Blida is Seychelles official Bernard Camille.