Voice of Sport

TP Mazembe leaving nothing to chance in quest for Congo and Africa tittles

The Lubumbashi giants on Wednesday entertain bitter rivals AS Vita Club of Kinshasa ahead of Champions League ‘Group Stage’ ties


LUBUMBASHI giants TP Mazembe embark on a two pronged attack at the Congolese soccer title and the Africa Champions League after a serious 10-day residential camp in Ndola City across the border in Zambia.

First, TP Mazembe step onto their home ground on Wednesday [April 23] to take on visiting bitter rivals AS Vita Club of Kinshasa in the final phase of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Vodacom Super League, traditionally known as Linafoot.

The first phase of the Linafoot comprises two groups of eight teams each in the expansive country. TP Mazembe had won Group ‘A’ ahead of Lubumbashi cross-town rivals Don Bosco. Both qualified for the four-team Linafoot play-off whose other teams are Group ‘B’ winners Vita Club of Kinshasa and runners-up Sanga Balende of Mbuji-Mayi.

Wednesday clash

In the other Linafoot first round match this Wednesday Sanga Balende welcome Don Bosco in Mbuji-Mayi.

In the Champions League, TP Mazembe, a four-time winner and back-to-back champions as recent as 2009 and 2010, have reached the Group Phase. Their qualification came after edging out Sewe Sport of Cote d’Ivoire.

Sewe won the first leg tie 2-1 in Abidjan on March 22 but Mazembe reversed that a week later  with a 1-0 home win and went through by the away goal rule.

Patrice Carteron, the TP Mazembe French coach, while taking his team for the camp in Ndola said: “We shall take advantage of these 10 days, play friendlies, sometimes two days in a row to allow the entire work force (30 players) to play.

Good training

“We intend to put excellent displays and results in the coming weeks and it need good preparation. We shall combine a lot of tactical and physical work to arrive fresh for the games ahead of us at both the Linafoot and the Africa stage.”

The TP Mazembe squad is combination of tested players and some exciting new characters including the incredibly diminutive striker Solomon Asante from Ghana. He was recruited for his magnificent technical qualities even though many wondered how he would stand physically against bigger players.

Asante had a go at defenders at one of Mazambe’s warm-up matches, a 4-0 victory over Forest Rangers at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

Move forward

He said: “Personally, I want to do my best for the team and help them win trophies. I hope to win titles this season. The goal is to do at least as well as last year. I always have this urge to move forward, to go even higher. For now we are in full preparation in the middle of the season. It will not change a lot of things but we will progress. It’s good to get away from Lubumbashi and focus. To arm ourselves to address properly the Linafoot and Champions League trophies that we must win.”

Earlier Mazembe had been held to a 1-1 by Power Dynamos and Asante said of the match:

Future

“I feel better and better. It takes time to be on top and that is why preparation is very important. The 1-1 here against Dynamos is fine, but we must continue like this and make good games in the future. We still need to refine some few things, to learn to play well together.

“Just after this camping, everything will happen very soon — the [Linafoot] play-offs and the quarterfinals of the Champion’s League. And we will in any case need to be present on the ‘D Day’. To make us happy and bring smiles to our fans.”

2014 TP MAZEMBE VODACOM SUPER LEAGUE & CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SQUAD:

Goalkeepers:

  1. Robert KIDIABA (1) – DR Congo
  2. Aime BAKULA (21) – DR Congo
  3. Ibrahim  MOUNKORO (22) – Senegal

Defenders:

  1. Joel  KIMWAKI (2) – DR Congo
  2. Jean KASUSULA (3) – DR Congo
  3. Eric NKULUKUTA (4) – DR Congo
  4. Mao KASONGO KABIONA (5) – DR Congo
  5. Salif COULIBALY (6) – Senegal
  6. Merveille Bope BOKADI (12) – DR Congo
  7. Kabaso CHONGO (14) – Zambia
  8. Yaw FRIMPONG (24) – Ghana
  9. Richard KISSI BOATENG’ (27) – Ghana
  10. Boubacar DIARRA (29) – Mali

MIDFIELDERS:

  1. Given SINGULUMA (10) – Zambia
  2. Joseph KAMWENDO (13) – Zambia
  3. Rainford KABALA (18) – Zambia
  4. Daniel ADJEI NII (19) – Ghana
  5. Gladson AWAKO (23) – Ghana
  6. Patrick ILONGO (26) – DR Congo
  7. Alou BAGAYOKO – Senegal

FORWARDS:

  1. Victor Robert MBELU (7) – DR Congo
  2. Jonas SAKUWAHA (9) – Zambia
  3.  Mbwana Aly SAMATTA (15) – Tanzania
  4. Ousmane CISSE (16) – Senegal
  5. Jonathan BOLINGI (17) – DR Congo
  6. Solomon ASANTE (20) –  Ghana
  7. Cheibane TRAORE (25) – Mali
  8. Thomas ULIMWENU (28) – Tanzania
  9. Diarra LASSANA –
  10. Traore ADAMA –

Goalkeeper coach – Zakaria ALAOUI (Morocco)

Fitness coach – Florian MULOT (France)

Assistant coachPamphile MIHAYO KAZEMBE (DR Congo)

Assistant coach – David MWAKASU (DR Congo)

Head coach – Patrice CARTERON (France)

Technical director – Lamine NDIAYE (Senegal)

FIXTURES:

Round:  Date:          Teams:

1 23rd Apr 14:30 Sanga Balende  v Don Bosco
1 23rd Apr 14:30 TP Mazembe v Vita Club
2 27th Apr 14:30 TP Mazembe v Don Bosco
2 27th Apr 14:30 Vita Club v Sanga Balende
3 1st May 14:30 TP Mazembe v Sanga Balende
3 1st May 14:30 Vita Club v Don Bosco
4 4th May 14:30 Don Bosco v Vita Club
4 4th May 14:30 TP Mazembe v Sanga Balende
5 7th May 14:30 Sanga Balende v Vita Club
5 7th May 14:30 TP Mazembe v Don Bosco
6 11th May 14:30 Don Bosco v Sanga Balende
6 11th May 14:30 Vita Club v TP Mazembe