TP Mazembe look to claim Confed Cup title

TP Mazembe look to claim Confed Cup title
epa05609113 Mouloudia Olympique Bejaia player Faouzi Rahal (R) and TP Mazembe player Salif Coulibaly (L) fight for the ball during the Final first leg CAF Confederation Cup soccer match between Mouloudia olympique Bejaia of Algeria and TP Mazembe of Congo in Blida km south of Algiers, Algeria, 29 October 2016. The second leg is scheduled for 6 November in Lubumbashi. EPA/STR

by BackPageTXT

Saturday Nov 05, 2016. 15:00

TP Mazembe are just a clean sheet away from claiming the CAF Confederation Cup trophy, as they prepare to host Algeria’s MO Bejaia for the second leg of the final this Sunday. The match will be hosted at the Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi, kick-off at 15h30 CAT.

The DRC giants hold a distinct advantage coming into the second leg, having claimed a 1-1 draw in the first match in Blida last weekend.

Jonathan Bolingi opened the scoring for the Ravens with his penalty late in the first half, before the hosts equalised through Faouzi Yaya in the second half.

The result means Mazembe can claim the title on the away goals rule with nothing more than a 0-0 home draw, though obviously Hubert Velud’s side will be looking to claim an outright advantage on aggregate.

MOB are looking to win their first CAF club competition, while Mazembe are very familiar with success on the continental stage: the Ravens have won five CAF Champions League titles (including last year), one African Cup Winners’ Cup and three CAF Super Cups.

Yaya, who scored the Crabs’ goal in the first leg, knows that it will be a tough ask to try and claim a positive result in Lubumbashi, but argues that his side has nothing to fear in the return match.

“Now we must be confident ahead of the return leg. We have no reason to be discouraged. There remains 90 minutes to try to win this cup,” Yaya told Le Buteur.

He added, “Of course our chances remain intact. It is true that we would have wanted to make a success in the first leg, but now that we have a draw, it's not the end of the world.

“We still have a rematch. We have nothing to lose. It is true that we are condemned to score away, but we have the means to do so.

“I want to say also that even if we had won the first match it would have been difficult. We will play all out to return [with the cup].

“Personally, I remain convinced that we still have our chances of winning. We now take the time to prepare well before going to Lubumbashi.”

The match will be refereed by Senegalese official Malang Diedhiou. The aggregate winners will face CAF Champions League winners Mamelodi Sundowns in next year’s CAF Super Cup.

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