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CAF Confederation Cup Mazembe defend heroically to retain trophy

TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo defended superbly to force a 0-0 draw at SuperSport United of South Africa Saturday and retain the CAF Confederation Cup.

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SuperSport United's Aubrey Bodiba (R) vies with TP Mazembe's Adam Traore during the last final match of the CAF Confederation trophy at Lucas Moripe stadium in Atteridgeville on November 25, 2017 in Pretoria play

SuperSport United's Aubrey Bodiba (R) vies with TP Mazembe's Adam Traore during the last final match of the CAF Confederation trophy at Lucas Moripe stadium in Atteridgeville on November 25, 2017 in Pretoria

(AFP)
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TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo defended superbly to force a 0-0 draw at SuperSport United of South Africa Saturday and retain the CAF Confederation Cup.

The Congolese club restricted the home team to just one shot on target in the second leg of the final in Pretoria, which saw each team have a player sent off late on, and won the secondary African club competition 2-1 on aggregate.

"We squandered a couple of early chances, then spent a lot of time defending our one-goal lead from the first leg," said Mazembe coach Pamphile Mihayo.

"Our defending was excellent and everyone played a part in keeping SuperSport at bay. I dedicate this title to Congolese people all over the world."

SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler said; "We recovered well from a sluggish start, but could not find a way through a good Mazembe defence."

Mazembe became only the second club after 2006 Confederation Cup winners Etoile Sahel of Tunisia to lift the trophy without losing a match.

The 'Ravens' won eight games and drew six after entering the competition at the play-off stage having being demoted from the CAF Champions League.

Apart from two Confederation Cup titles, Mazembe have won the Champions League five times, the Super Cup three times and the now defunct African Cup Winners Cup once.

Those 11 trophies make them the second most successful club in CAF competitions after Al Ahly of Egypt, who have won 19 titles.

Mazembe wasted two early chances to take the lead at wet and chilly Lucas 'Masterpieces' Moripe Stadium with captain Rainford Kalaba and Daniel Nii Adjei the culprits.

SuperSport needed 73 minutes to get a shot on target with Ivorian goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo saving a low effort from Togolese substitute Dove Wome.

A second leg that never reached great heights threatened to boil over in the closing stages with the Senegalese referee showing two red and five yellow cards.

Zambia-born Mazembe defender Kabaso Chongo was sent off eight minutes from time after being cautioned twice within six minutes.

SuperSport winger Thuso Phala was shown a straight red card in the final minute of regular time for a studs-up tackle.

Mazembe pocketed a record $1.25 million (about 1.1 million euros) for winning and will meet Champions League title-holders Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in a one-off Super Cup match in February.

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