Orange Champions League
APR vs TP Mazembe
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Tiko Utd vs Heartland
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Djoliba vs ASC Linguere
Raja Casablanca vs Petro Atletico
Union Douala vs Entente Setif
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Gazelle vs Al Merreikh
APR will not apply the handbrakes when they lock horns with reigning African champions TP Mazembe in the second round of the Orange Champions League this afternoon at Amahoro Stadium.
The army side is aware that anything short of a win will all but diminish their chances of making a debut appearance at the group stages of the lucrative tournament.
Despite conceding that Mazembe have one of the best attacks in the competition, with special mention going to Tresor Mputu, who was recently crowned local African player of the year, APR’s head coach Erik Paske reckons that his guns will approach the game with total confidence.
“We don’t need to be afraid of Mazembe. We should be confident and have the belief that we can upset them.”
“We have to make the most of our home advantage because in such competitions, home games count a lot,” the Dutch tactician stressed.
“Morale in the team is high and I hope everything will go as planned.”
In the build up to today’s tie, Mazembe team manager Frederick Kitenge who also owns Digital Congo Television stopped Mputu.
It is also reported that Mazembe refused to have dinner at their hotel (Top Tower) in fear of food poisoning and instead opted to have it at the DRC ambassador’s residence in Kiyovu.
The game will be handled by the South African trio of Daniel Bennett, Toco Malebo and Siwela Zakhele while Charles Masembe of Uganda is the match commissioner.
While Mazembe had a bye in the first round, APR qualified the hard way. The army side dislodged Angola’s Recreativo do Libolo on goal aggregates (3-2).
In the aftermath of their Africa Champions League victory, Mazembe have also gone on to win the CAF Africa Super Cup and were last week named Club of the Year at CAF’s annual awards in Ghana.
In other second round ties, Egyptian giants Al Ahly’s play Gunners FC in Harare, Heartland are away at Tiko United, who won the Cameroonian league title for the first time last season while Tunisia’s Club Africain host JS Kabylie.