TP Mazembe out to claim second successive Confed Cup title

TP Mazembe out to claim second successive Confed Cup title
Thuso Phala of Supersport United challenges Jean Kasusula of TP Mazembe during 2017 CAF Confederations Cup Final Supersport United training at TP Mazembe Stadium in Stade Kamalondo DRC on 19 November 2017 © Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 18:00

TP Mazembe will look to claim a second successive CAF Confederation Cup title when they face hosts SuperSport United for the return leg of the final.

The match is scheduled for Saturday evening at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, kick-off at 20h15 CAT.

The first leg at the Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi last weekend ended in a 2-1 win for the DR Congo giants, with Adama Traore and Daniel Adjei Nii scoring their goals.

However, those strikes sandwiched an away goal for United from Sipho Mbule, meaning a 1-0 home win this weekend would be enough for the South African team to claim the title.

Mazembe, meanwhile, need only a draw to take the tie on aggregate, but coach Pamphile Mihayo insists his side won’t come to Tshwane with a defensive mindset.

“I’m happy with the result. We won the game, we didn’t lose or draw. We’re going to try and be at 100 percent for the return game,” Mihayo explained after the first leg.

“We must play in Pretoria. If we go there only content to stay back and play in the defensive part of the field then it’s going to be very difficult for us because the opponent can always put you under pressure. After that, you’re going to concede goals.”

SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler acknowledges that coming from behind against the reigning Confed Cup champions will be no easy task, but he does have confidence that his side will prevail – especially after bagging a precious goal on the road.

“I’d rather leave with a 2-1 loss than a 0-0 draw because it was very important for us to get an away goal, especially against a team like TP Mazembe,” explained the former Bafana Bafana midfielder.

“They’re an experienced team, and if you don’t score here then it becomes very difficult at home. Now I think it has opened up the game a bit more…

“Due to injuries and suspensions you saw quite a lot of younger players, like Sipho Mbule, who haven’t had regular game-time, but they featured and they did it against TP Mazembe.

“I thought they did well, exceptionally well. So do I feel confident? Hell yes! I feel very confident because I know that next week we’ll be getting certain players back.”

United are set to have Morgan Gould and Reneilwe Letsholonyane back from suspension, while Thabo Mnyamane could make a return after a month out with injury.

The match will be refereed by Senegalese official Malang Diedhiou. The aggregate winners will face Wydad Casablanca in the CAF Super Cup next year.

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