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Preview: USM Alger face TP Mazembe in CAF CL final first leg
TP Mazembe and USM Alger clash in the first leg of the CAF Champions League final at the Omar Hammadi stadium in Algerian capital city Algiers. The stadium holds nearly 20,000 spectators, and it is expected that the match will be played in a full house, as match tickets were sold out by Friday. The referee for the match is Egyptian Gehad Gerisha. It is also worth noting that USM Alger star player Youcef Belaili was recently suspended for eight years for doping.
Here are some facts about the match to keep you entertained, as we count down towards the final:
-USM Alger are playing in their first continental final; their best finish before this season was in 2003 when they were able to reach the semi-final of the Champions League.
– TP Mazembe on the other hand were crowned as champions of the first two editions of the CAF Champions League, in the 1967 and 1968. Mazembe were also triumphant 2009 and 2010, making for a total of four Champions League titles for the Congolese side.
– TP Mazembe’s top scorer is Mbwana Samatta with 6 goals- only 1 goal behind the competition’s top scorer, Bakri Al Madina from Al-Merrikh.
-USM Alger’s top scorer is the suspended Youcef Belaili, with 4 goals.
-Both teams were top of their groups in the group stage stage, USM Alger with 15 points and Mazembe with 11 points.
-In the semi-finals both TP Mazemebe and USM Alger eliminated Sudanese giants Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh respectively.