Absa Premiership

SuperSport try again to lift Confederation Cup

2017-12-12 18:03
Eric Tinkler (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - SuperSport United will try again next year to win the CAF Confederation Cup after finishing runners-up this season to TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Pretoria club, known as Matsatsantsa (the trendsetters), are among 55 who will go into a draw in Cairo on Wednesday for the preliminary and first rounds of the second-tier African competition.

SuperSport lost their first CAF final 2-1 on aggregate to vastly more experienced continental campaigners Mazembe after a goalless second leg in South Africa.

Mazembe will not be part of the Confederation Cup draw as they have qualified for the more lucrative CAF Champions League, whose 2018 draw will also be made on Wednesday.

South Africa are among 12 countries entitled on merit to two places in the draw and African debutants Cape Town City will be the other representatives.

City are coached by former national team striker Benni McCarthy, who was part of the 2004 UEFA Champions League-winning Porto team managed by Jose Mourinho.

McCarthy became a coach for the first time this year, succeeding Eric Tinkler, who moved to SuperSport halfway through the 2017 African campaign.

No coach is more desperate to win a CAF competition than former South Africa midfielder Tinkler, who has been a runner-up three times in five years.

He was assistant coach of 2013 Champions League finalists Orlando Pirates and coach of the same club when they lost the 2015 Confederation Cup final, before failing with SuperSport.

There are seven former African champions among the 2018 Confederation Cup entrants, including back-to-back winners Enyimba of Nigeria.

Zamalek of Egypt will be another major attraction, having won nine CAF titles, including the Champions League five times.

Club Africain of Tunisia, the 1991 champions, try again to win the Confederation Cup after losing to SuperSport in the semi-finals earlier this year.

Other former champions in the draw are Asante Kotoko of Ghana, CARA of Congo Brazzaville, Hafia of Guinea and Raja Casablanca of Morocco.

Hafia, a dominant force in African football during the 1970s, make their Confederation Cup debut after a long absence from international competition.

Kotoko reached the first Confederation Cup final in 2004, losing on penalties to bitter rivals Hearts of Oak in an all-Ghana title decider.

Gendarmerie Nationale of Djibouti and Masters Security of Malawi will create history as the first clubs from their countries to compete in the African equivalent of the Europa League.

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