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Zambia’s Zesco United target Confederation Cup success

Confederation Cup winners TP Mazembe

Zambia’s Zesco United are one of the teams hoping to dethrone TP Mazembe as the Confederation Cup champions

Zesco United are aiming to become the first Zambian winners of the Confederation Cup after they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last year.

They are one of 16 teams in the group stage of the Confederation Cup that begins this weekend.

Zesco open their Group C campaign at home to Egypt’s Smouha on Saturday.

“If we believe in each other we can lift the trophy,” said striker John Ching’andu.

The 23-year-old scored twice as Zesco reached the expanded group phase by beating Enugu Rangers of Nigeria 3-0 at home.

United had also shown spirit in the first leg as they recovered from two goals behind to force a 2-2 draw.

Serbian coach Zlatko Krmpotic shares the optimism of Ching’andu.

“Smouha are a good team who I know from my days as assistant coach of TP Mazembe in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.

“We beat them 2-0 away and 1-0 at home in the Caf Champions League, but they were no pushovers and deserve respect.”

The Egyptians edged South African Premiership leaders Wits in a one-goal tie settled by a penalty.

Title-holders TP Mazembe tackle CF Mounana of Gabon in a clash between two Champions League drop-outs.

Former Confederation Cup winners FUS Rabat of Morocco host Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the first Ugandan club to qualify for the group stage of a continental competition.

KCCA came close to shocking title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the Champions League before being demoted to the Confederation Cup.

Mbabane Swallows, the first Swaziland club to make a CAF group stage, have a challenging start away to record three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien of Tunisia Sfaxien.

The Tunisians scored seven unanswered goals in two previous home victories and Karim Aouadhi and Senegalese Mohamed Ndoye score consistently.

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