CAF Final… Mazembe set to repeat history
With the second leg of the CAF African Champions League final against Esperance looking like a foregone conclusion, TP Mazembe are likely just days away from claiming consecutive continental club titles this weekend if all goes their way.
Fact! An achievement they last achieved 42 years ago. The holders from DR Congo were the first side to win back-to-back Champions Cups in 1967 and 1968, and a fourth crown overall would cement their re-emergence as an African football dynasty and leave only the Egyptian pair of Al Ahly (6) and Zamalek (5) with more triumphs.
This Saturday Mazembe will travel to Rades, in the outskirts of Tunis, with a five-goal margin, wow it will be great to see a great goal margin overturn by the Tunisian when the two sides meet, but the club from Lubumbashi know that any slip of nerve or defence will be fuel for the powerful Sang et Or (Blood and Orange) and their supporters.
“Esperance are a good side still, so we will not underestimate them. We need to go there with a plan. They are a strong side, but we are also determined,” said Mazembe’s Senegal-born coach Lamine N’Diaye.
Determination is something that the black-and-white clad club has shown in spades.
The club has built a reputation for being a daring team, a side that often relies on quick and scathing counter attacks. However, they have proven in the last few games, especially in the second leg of the semi-finals when they killed off JS Kabylie’s aspirations and forced a scoreless draw that they can defend with the same intensity and gusto.
History is set to repeat itself if they can work their way out of Rades victorious. They had experienced turbulence in the group stage of the tournament, and, even though they looked solid in patches, there was no fluency to their play.
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