KickOff takes an in-depth look at SuperSport United's CAF Confederation Cup opponents Club Africain
Posted: 1 October 2017 Time: 11:00
KickOff.com takes a look at SuperSport United's CAF Confederation Cup semi-final opponents, the mighty Club Africain.
There were wild celebrations on the Matsatsantsa bench at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium last weekend, as Thuso Phala’s stoppage-time
strike – a crucial away goal to level matters – secured the aggregate victory over Zesco United as SuperSport advanced to the last-
four of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup, a first for the Pretoria club.
Having twice reached the fourth round of this competition (in 2005 and 2010), this is the furthest the Tshwane club has progressed, yet they face a tough test if they’re to qualify for their first continental final.
Tunisian giants Club Africain lie in wait – one of the most feared names on the African continent. The 13-time Tunisian league champions, who also have 12 Tunisian cups to their name, have only lifted continental honours once – the 1991 African Cup of Champions Clubs – but are always in the reckoning in the latter stages of the tournament.
Having won the league in 2015, Africain campaigned in the CAF Champions League last season, yet were knocked out in the first round, going down 2-1 on aggregate to Algerian opponents MO Bejaia.
A third-place finish in the league last season meant Confederation Cup action this year, as the Tunisians mowed down Sierra Leone’s RSLAF 9-1 in the first round qualifiers, before thrashing Mauritian club AS Port-Louis 6-3 on aggregate in the play-offs to secure their spot in the group stages.
Africain – who were ninth in the Tunisian league standings after four games played – ended top of Group A after their six matches, winning four and losing two – both 2-1 away losses to KCCA and fellow semi-finalists FUS Rabat – but still comfortably won the group by three points.
In the quarter-finals, they faced off against Algerian outfit MC Alger, losing the first leg 1-0 before claiming a 2-0 victory at home over the weekend to progress 2-1 on aggregate.
Africain’s best finish in the Confederation Cup was in 2011 when they lost the final 3-2 on aggregate to FUS Rabat, and will no doubt be looking to go one better this time around as they prepare to face Eric Tinkler and his charges in the first leg in at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
TP Mazembe and Rabat square off in the other semi-final, with the first leg taking place in Lubumbashi also on Sunday afternoon.