Sunday, November 29, 2009

10 must-know facts about African Confederations' Cup finale

The buzz in African soccer circles is not only about the Spanish El Classico or Arsenal - Chelsea but also about the first leg of the Caf Confed Cup. It's Entente Setif vs Stade Malien. Here are 10 fast facts for you.


1. They have not won anything on the continent in 21 years - the last time was when they beat Nigeria's Iwuanyawu Nationale (now called Heartland) 4-1.

2. But they are on a great run after winning the Arab Champions League back-to-back in 2007 and last year.

3. This tournament's topscorer is in the team: Abdelmalek Ziaya with 13 goals. Even though he's averaged a goal per game in the tournament in the last 10 months, Ziaya was not used in the national team's world/African cup qualifiers.

4. Two members of the national team who've just qualified for the world cup are in the team, too: Khaled Lemmouchia - the guy who bled from the missile attacks in Egypt - and goalkeeping hero Faouzi Chaouchi, unfortunately not registered on time so he shant play in today's game.

5. Setif are the second Algerian side to play Malien in this competition after JSM Bejaia. They'll hope not to be the second to be beaten!


6. Based in Bamako, they have not been in a continental final in 44 years.

7. They have a great away record this year: a loss in seven games. Setif beware!

8. Proven penalty warriors this year after beating JSM Bejaia in 25 goal shootout and Egypt's ENPPI in the semi- final.

9. Lost the first African Champions' Cup to Cameroon's Oryx Douala in Accra.

10. Malien can join the elite list of teams to win the new Caf Confed Cup since it was renamed in '04. Others are: Hearts of Oak (Ghana), FAR Rabat (Morocco), Etoile Sahel and CS Sfaxien ([twice]; both Tunisia)

Final leg of this finale is on Thursday.

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