The Ghanaians who recorded their first win at the pool stage thanks to a 3-1 victory Young Africans of Tanzania occupy third spot on the Group B standings with five points, same as Algeria’s MO Bejaia, and Owusu and his charges are very much aware that only the maximum points against leaders Mazembe will aid their quest for a place at the semis.
Two of his regular players Enock Atta Agyei and Daniel Amoah have joined the exodus bandwagon signing for Tanzanian side Azam, but the Medeama trainer is the least perturbed by the absence of the duo, adding he has equal replacements to help his team’s quest.
“Indeed they have left, but that is not a problem for us because we play as a team and don’t centre our formations and strategies on one player. So that will not count as we have moved on.”
“As it stands now we have the brightest chance of qualifying to the semi-final if we take our chances and attack them like we did in the previous game. I have watched a few clips of their games and even had first-hand information when we played against them in Lubumbashi. Hopefully, we can push for the win and take it up from there”, Owusu added.
Mazembe has already qualified for the semis leaving the group’s other slot for Medeama, Bejaia and Young Africans to fight for, however Owusu expects the five-time African champions to come tough.
“Everybody knows the pedigree of Mazembe when it comes to football in Africa and we are aware of the threat they pose as a team even though they have already qualified to the semi-final. But that will no matter on Sunday because they will also want to keep their good run in the competition intact so there's nothing like an easy match. On the contrary, we are envisaging a tough game, but we are confident of winning.”
The Congolese won 3-1 in the reverse fixture in Lubumbashi last June.
Young Africans will face Bejaia in the other Group A match on Saturday in Dar es Salaam.
In Group B, holders Etoile du Sahel to Tunisia will host Moroccan side Kawkab in Sousse, whilst Libya’s Ahly Tripoli squares FUS Rabat of Morocco, both on Friday.
13.08.2016 Young Africans (Tanzania) vs MO Bejaia (Algeria)
14.08.2016 Medeama (Ghana) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
12.08.2016 Ahly Tripoli (Libya) vs FUS Rabat (Morocco)
12.08.2016 Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) vs Kawkab Marrakech (Morocco)