CAF Confederation Cup Final
Result: TP Mazembe 2-1 SuperSport United
Date: 19 November 2017
Venue: Stade TP Mazembe
TP Mazembe beat SuperSport United 2-1 in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final at the Stade TP Mazembe, but SuperSport grabbed a crucial away goal that stands them in good stead for the second leg.
Jeremy Brockie started for SuperSport United, shaking off his jetlag from New Zealand’s World Cup qualifiers against Peru. Meanwhile, Sylvain Gbohouo was benched by Mazembe following his erratic performance for Ivory Coast against Morocco.
The first real chance of the game fell to Bradley Grobler in the 12th minute. Thuso Phala picked him out with a delightful ball across the face of goal from the right, but he fired over from close range with the net at his mercy.
SuperSport continued to attack and Dové Womé and Siyabonga Nhlapo forced Ley Matampi into saves.
In the 18th minute, Mazembe went close at the other end as Chico Ushindi Wa Kubanza rattled the upright.
SuperSport survived that scare, but conceded straight afterwards in calamitous fashion. Ronwen Williams failed to see Adama Traoré’s long-range strike until it was too late and he could only punch it into his own net off the crossbar.
Matsatsantsa nearly equalised in first half stoppage time as Grobler got onto the end of a corner ahead of Matampi, but he couldn’t slot it into the net and the Mazembe defence scrambled the ball away.
However, two minutes into the first half, the visitors were finally rewarded for their persistence. Sipho Mbule’s fierce long-range strike flew past the outstretched keeper and SuperSport had a vital away goal.
The onus was now on TP Mazembe to change the game, and in the 59th minute, they brought Elia Meschak on for Rainford Kalaba. Two minutes later, Solomon Asante replaced Ushindi.
In the 67th minute, the hosts played the ball to Daniel Adjei Nii as he waited just outside the box from a corner. He picked it up unmarked and fired past Williams. Mazembe were back in front.
Eric Tinkler brought Fagrie Lakay on for Brockie in the 73rd minute, but the hosts continued to dominate.
Asante was unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty in the 78th minute as Dean Furman’s reckless lunge from behind went unpunished.
Both sides made substitutions as the clock ticked down. Grant Kekana came on for Womé in the 81st minute before Mazembe brought Trésor Mputu on for Adjei. Tinkler then replaced Grobler with Denwin Farmer.
In the end, the defending champions held on for the win, but Matsatsantsa can hold their heads up high as they head into the second leg with every chance of claiming the aggregate victory.
Here's how they started:
Mazembe: Matampi, Issama, Kimwaki, Kabaso, Kasusula, Sinkala, Adjei (Mputu, 82’), Kalaba (Elia, 59’), Ushindi (Asante, 61’), Malango, A.Traore.
SuperSport: Williams, Nhlapo, Daniels, Mashamaite, Modiba, Furman, Mbule, Phala, Wome (Kekana, 81’), Brockie (Lakay, 73’), Grobler (Farmer, 85’).