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Vipers target history in crucial return leg against TP Mazembe



Ugandan champions Vipers SC are bound to make history should they manage to pick the desired result against TP Mazembe in second leg of the CAF Champions League final fantasy round in Lubumbashi.

The first leg ended 0-0 at Kitende last week therefore the Venoms need at least a scoring draw to qualify for the coveted group stages. Another goalless draw will lead to extra time or even penalty shoot out.

Coming into this fixture, Vipers will also be attempting to become the first Ugandan team to qualify for the group stages since KCCA FC who achieved the feat in 2018.

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Their hosts Mazembe have found themselves in last year’s situation where they were eventually eliminated at this stage by South Africa’s AmaZulu on away goals rule after drawing 0-0 in South Africa and 1-1 in Lubumbashi.

Team News

Vipers named an 18 man squad for the mission without Yiga Najib, Frank Zaga Tumwesigye, Paul Mucureezi and Ibrahim Orit.

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TP Mazembe will be without Mali’s first choice goalkeeper who will now be out for three weeks after getting injured in the first leg.

The Ravens welcome back defender Tandi Mwape from suspension while the trio of Kabaso Chongo, Koffi Koume and Phillipe Kinzumbi remains suspended.

In absence of Mounkoro, Siadi Baggio is expected to be between the sticks while Glody Likonza who came off the bench is expected to command a starting place.

Vipers on the other hand will be expected to heavily rely on their forward line of Yunus Sentamu, Milton Karisa and Abdul Lumala among others as well as the reliable gloves of Alfred Mudekereza in goal.

TP Mazembe Home Record

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TP Mazembe have only lost one game in their last 83 CAF games at home which came last year against Mamelodi Sundowns. Until that 2-1 defeat to Sundowns, Mazembe had a long standing 74 home unbeaten record in CAF Inter-club competitions stretching from 2010.

What Do Coaches Say

Robertinho is optimistic Vipers can clinch history irrespective of the odds,

” Everything in football is possible but we came here in Lubumbashi for the win. My players are ready, motivated and determined. We didn’t come this far to lose. We are determined to give our best. Yes, TP Mazembe is a big team but we aren’t scared of them” The Brazilian said in a post match interview.

“Some people have written us off after the first leg goalless draw against TP Mazembe but we are determined to give our best on Saturday. It won’t be a walk in the park for TP Mazembe” He added.

His equal number Franck Dumas says his Mazembe charges are aware of the task at hand and will have to do what is required to overcome a good opponent.

” We have a good opponent in front of us tomorrow, but we have a very specific objective, it’s qualification” Dumas said in a pre-match press conference.

” We are going to try to focus on the intensity, that is to say it is we who are going to decide at what moment the speed of the game, the acceleration because the objective is to take shelter and not to tremble until the end,” He added.

Mamelodi Sundowns, Zamalek SC, Petro Atletico de Luanda and Algerian champions CR Belouizdad are the first four teams to qualify for the group stages this season. The fifth club will either be Vipers or TP Mazembe.

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