Confederation Cup: TP Mazembe start group phase with victory

TP Mazembe's Rainford Kalaba
Rainford Kalaba scored two of TP Mazembe's goals against Medeama

TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo beat Ghanaian club Medeama 3-1 in Lubumbashi to start their African Confederation Cup group campaign with a victory.

Mazembe, last year's African Champions League winners, were demoted from the continent's elite club competition to the Confederation cup.

Rainford Kalaba (pictured) scored two of the Congolese side's goals to help them take an early lead at the top of the Group A standings.

But they had to come from behind against the Ghanaians, after Malik Akowuah had given Medeama an unlikely lead in the 2nd minute.

Kalaba scored an equaliser after 21 minutes with Salif Coulibaly putting the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Kalaba made it 3-1 in the 73rd minute, with his second goal of the game.

Medeama have yet to win away in Africa this year and face a financial challenge, with trips still to come to Algeria and Tanzania in the group phase.

Should they finish bottom of the standings, they will receive only $150,000 (105,000 euros) prize money.

In the other Group A game later on Sunday, novices Mouloudia Bejaia of Algeria earred a superb 1-0 win over the vastly experienced Young Africans of Tanzania.

Yassine Salhi scored the only gosl of the game on 20 minutes.

The defending African Confederation Cup champions, Etoile du Sahel, were beaten 2-1 by Kawkab Marrakech in Morocco on Friday, at the start of the group stage.

Etoile, from Tunisia, took the lead in the Group B match when Lahmar Hamza converted a penalty in the 62nd minute, but two red cards in the space of two minutes for the holders turned the game

Msakni Iheb and Abderrazak Ghazi were both sent off with Kawkab taking advantage to win through goals from Kouyate Boubakar and Amimi Abdelilah.

Group B consists exclusively of North African clubs and the other match later on Sunday featured another Moroccan side, FUS Rabat against Al Ahli Tripoli of Libya.

Rabat emerged victorious thanks to a lone goal by Mohammed Nahiri two minutes after the half-time interval.

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