Mbele faces Day of Destiny


Mbele has been firing red hot in Northern Africa as the Sfax-based team won the first leg against El Merrikh 4-2, and is highly tipped to topple the Sudanese to achieve a memorable feat at the Mhiri Stadium.

Since the introduction of the new format of the continental club competitions, never has two teams from the same country won both titles.

Champions Etoile du Sahel wrestled the MTN-CAF Champions League title a fortnight ago and victory for Sfaxien will land a historic achievement for Tunisian football.

Incidentally, Etoile won the competition last year and the Michel Decastle team has vowed to ensure the title remains in the Maghreb region.

The home team’s preparation for the big game suffered a minor jolt as most teams shied away from friendly matches in their quest to fine-tune for the encounter.

And after losing to Ahly in the Champions League final in 2006, the Tunisians are in no mood to let another opportunity slip through their hands thus have promising to go all the way.

Sfaxien’s only continental success was in 1998 in the defunct CAF Cup and the Confederations Cup will be crowning moment prior to their 80th birthday anniversary next year.

The North Africans knocked Orlando Pirates out of the penultimate completion and sent Mamelodi Sundowns packing in the current edition.

Merrikh who have a tall mountain to climb will likely to be affected by the absence of inspirational trainer, Otto Pfister who now heads the technical team of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

The German-born trainer who led the Omdurman-based side through the qualifiers admitted that it will be very difficult for his team to bounce back from the 4-2 first leg defeat.

The Sudanese have a good record of scoring in almost every away game and that could play a pivotal role in their quest to overturn the scores in their favour.

The winner of this tie will meet Etoile du Sahel for the Super Cup next February.