SuperSport United departed for the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday the 16th of November to face TP Mazembe in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final. But the mind games began before Matsatsantsa had even arrived in Lumumbashi because their flight at the OR Tambo International Airport was delayed by six hours because there was apparently no landing strip available for the team’s plane to land on in Lumumbashi.
Eventually SuperSport boarded their flight at just after 14H00 when they were meant to depart at 09H20. Lumumbashi, which is the second largest city in the DRC, is situated in the southeast of the country on the border with Zambia and is the central African nation’s mining capital well-known for its production of copper.
The team arrived in Lumumbashi on Friday evening and their late arrival meant that they had to skip their scheduled training session. Driving through the streets of the city, Mazembe fans were eagerly anticipating the clash and made it clear that Matsatsantsa would be beaten on Sunday the 19th of November.
SuperSport eventually trained on Saturday the 18th of November, a light training session ahead of match day. The training took place at the match venue, the 18 000 seater Stade TP Mazembe in the Kamalondo suburb of Lumumbashi.
On match day every single one of the 18 000 seats in the Stade TP Mazembe was fileld with vocal Mazembe fans chanting for their side. Although let down by their goalkeeper Ronwen Williams who let in a soft goal, SuperSport United acquitted themselves well with a thin squad to score a crucial away goal. 2-1 to Mazembe was the final score.
Both Matsatsantsa coach Eric Tinkler and captain dean Furman believe that 2-1 wasn’t a bad result and feel that with players returning from injury and suspension that SuperSport can overturn that deficit in Pretoria a week later.