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Mazembe edge out FUS to reach Confederation Cup final

TP Mazembe players celebrate after a win in a past match

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct 22 – CAF Confederation Cup history repeated itself Sunday when TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo reached the final at the expense of FUS Rabat of Morocco.

It was the second successive season in which Mazembe won and FUS lost at the semi-finals stage of the second-tier African club competition.

Mazembe forced a 0-0 draw with FUS in Rabat to qualify 1-0 on aggregate having won the first leg in Lubumbashi last month through a Ben Malango goal, his sixth of the competition.

Last year, both semi-finals were decided by away goals after 1-1 aggregate deadlocks with Mazembe eliminating Etoile Sahel of Tunisia and FUS falling to Mouloudia Bejaia of Algeria.

Mazembe went on to trounce Bejaia in the final for a first Confederation Cup title after finishing runners-up to CS Sfaxien of Tunisia three years earlier.

The “Ravens” will face Club Africain of Tunisia or SuperSport United of South Africa, who meet later Sunday, in the final with the first leg set for DR Congo on November 19.

A record $1.25 million (about 1.1 million euros) first prize is up for grabs.

FUS controlled the first half of the second leg with Mazembe surviving anxious moments from a Karim Benarif free-kick and a Hicham el Aroui cross.

But after successfully defending the slender overall lead for an hour in the Moroccan capital, 10-time CAF title winners Mazembe became bolder.

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Winger Meschak Elia came off the bench in place of Zambian Rainford Kalaba and immediately threatened the Rabat outfit.

Elia twice and Malango came close to scoring the goal that would have sewn up the tie instead of leaving it in the balance until the final whistle.

Mazembe are the third club to reach successive Confederation Cup finals after FAR Rabat of Morocco (won 2005, lost 2006) and Sfaxien (won 2007 and 2008).

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