African Oppenent Update: TP Mazembe

An exciting clash in Lubumbashi, DR Congo awaits Mamelodi Sundowns this weekend against African football stalwarts TP Mazembe. It is matchday three of the CAF Champions League group stages and Masandawana go into the encounter having registered two victories in two games placing them top of group B with six points. The Ravens on the other side have only managed two goalless draws in their group games.

Interesting information about the game:

Stade TP Mazembe is well-known for the hostility that the home supporters bring and how they make any visiting team experience the battle in Lubumbashi. The past two games played in the stadium based in Kamalondo has seen no fans allowed, as part of the ongoing Covid restrictions, which have dealt a huge blow to the Ravens as they depend on their supporters to rally behind them.

Who are Les Corbeaux?

‘The Ravens’ were founded in 1959 and were known as Saint Georges FC. In 1966 they won their first league title after having an undefeated season and were given the name Tout Puissant which means “The Almighty” which was subsequently shortened to “TP” Mazembe (All Mighty Mazembe).

Previous Meetings:

The two sides have met on five occasions, dating back from 2007. Masandawana has won three times and lost twice. Both sides have never registered a win away from home.

Mazembe’s Current Form:

They are currently occupying position one in their domestic league after sixteen league games. They have won ten, drawn six and have not lost a game. The last time Mazembe scored in the continental competition was against AS Bouenguidi in the first round and they beat the Gabonese side by four goals to two and secured a spot in the group stages.

Team Manager:

Pamphile Mihayo Kazembe, the 44-year-old is a former player and captain of the club. This is his second stint with the club as a head coach. He returned to the club in January after leaving in March 2020.

Players to Watch:

Rainford Kalaba is one of the most senior players in the Mazembe squad, he has been with the club for ten years and has won many accolades with The Ravens. The Zambian has won the African Cup of Nations alongside compatriot Kennedy Mweene in 2012 and the CAF Champions League in 2015.

Thomas Ulimwengu is another one to look out for. The dangerous 27-year-old Tanzanian striker has already scored three goals in three appearances in the CAF Champions League and will be one of those looking to be a threat against the resilient Downs defence.