06 November 2016 03:56
A brace from midfielder Rainford Kalaba and a goal each from Merveille Bope and Jonathan Bolingi was all TP Mazembe needed to beat MO Bejaia 4-1 on Sunday in Lubumnbashi to win the 2016 Orange CAF Confederation Cup.
Kalaba scored in either half, the first a spectacular volley before beating Chamseddine Rahmani again few minutes past the hourmark, to sign-off in grand style and living up to his status as the heartbeat of Mazembe’s campaign in the second-tier continental club championship.
Sofiane Khadir grabbed a consolation for the Algerian debutants, who were clearly outplayed by their host who romped to the title 5-2 on aggregate.
‘Les Corbeaux’ thus emulates the feat of Egyptian giants Al Ahly to become the second club to win the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup in the ensuing year. Ahly achieved the feat in 2013 and 2014 with Mazembe, 2015 and 2016.
After a one-all draw in the first leg in Bejaia last week, the odds were in favour of Mazembe and they did not disappoint, backed by their experienced squad.
It took only seven minutes for the Congolese to break the deadlock, Bope tucking home from a Jean Kasusula free-kick.
Mazembe remained in control and two minutes before the break, Kalaba doubled the lead with a stunning volley that caught Rahmani off guard.
The Congolese who lost to Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien in the final of the same competition three years ago increased their tally on 62 minutes again through Kalaba from a Roger Assale assist. It was Kalaba’s eight goal of the campaign.
On 75 minutes, Bejaia pulled one back courtesy Khadir after Faouzi Nahal had put him through before Bolingi put the icing on the cake with the fourth goal two minutes later tapping in from close range.
Besides the trophy, Mazembe were also $660,000 richer whilst Bejaia pocketed $462,000 for their efforts.
Mazembe will face CAF Champions League winners, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the 2017 CAF Super Cup on the weekend on 17-19 February 2017 at the home grounds of the latter.