Mazembe start Confederation Cup with a draw in Algeria
Confederation Cup favourites TP Mazembe made a satisfactory start to Group B this weekend with a 1-1 draw at Entente Setif.
The star-studded side from the DR Congo went ahead nine minutes from time in western Algeria through Tanzania midfielder Mbwana Samata.
But Setif, the 1988 African champions, responded quickly with Mourad Delhoum levelling within two minutes to deny Mazembe an away victory.
A draw was a fair reflection of the opening group match in the second-tier African club competition.
Mazembe were unlucky midway through the opening half when Zambia midfielder Nathan Sinkala rattled the woodwork after a corner.
The post also foiled Setif during a lively opening half with midfielder Amir Karaoui seeing a long-range attempt rebound into play.
Gladson Awako, one of several Ghanaian imports at Mazembe, fluffed a good early second half chance with only goalkeeper Sofiane Khadaira to beat.
Neither FUS Rabat of Morocco nor CA Bizertin of Tunisia could take advantage of the Setif stalemate as they also drew 1-1 in the Moroccan capital.
Shock 2010 Confederation Cup winners FUS dominated the opening half only for Abdessalam Ben Jelloun to squander three scoring chances.
Bizertin's 19-year-old striker Adem Rjaibi put the visitors ahead on 74 minutes at the Moulay Abdallah sports complex. FUS fought back and deservedly equalised six minutes from time through defender Zouhair Feddal.
In Group A, Ethiopia's Saint George were 2-0 winners over Mali's Stade Malien in Addis Ababa. Omod Okury put the hosts ahead in the 16th minute with Gebremariam adding a second goal six minutes from time.
In the other match in the group two-time winners winners CS Sfaxien edged out former African Champions Etoile du Sahel 1-0 in a Tunisian derby.
Ivorian Idrissa Kouyate with the only goal of the game after 18 minutes.