CAF Confederation Cup: Five stars to watch for as semi-final commences

© Marumo Gallants, Yanga

CAF Champions League CAF Confederation Cup: Five stars to watch for as semi-final commences

Mark Kinyanjui 15:52 - 09.05.2023

A couple of stars have stood out as their clubs have made the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals.

A new name will be engraved on the CAF Confederation Cup trophy this season as the Moroccan near-monopoly of the competition is interrupted. 

In the semi-final first legs on Wednesday, Young Africans (Yanga) of Tanzania will host Marumo Gallants of South Africa while ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast will entertain USM Alger of Algeria.

The line-up contains several surprise qualifiers. It is stunning that the dominant region in African club football -the north - has only one representative this year.

Pulse Sports introduces some of the stars who could play key roles in deciding which teams advance to the final.

Fiston Mayele- Young Africans

Menacing Yanga forward, Fiston Mayele has scored 12 goals this season in the two CAF club competitions -- the Champions League and Confederation Cup.

The 28-year-old former Sofapaka forward bagged seven goals in the Champions League preliminary rounds, including two hat-tricks.

When the Dar es Salaam-based outfit was demoted to the Confederation Cup, he continued to torment rivals, scoring the two goals that eliminated Rivers United of Nigeria in the last round.

Ranga Chivaviro- Marumo Gallants

Ranga Chivaviro of Marumo is the joint leading scorer in the Confederation Cup with six goals and will be relishing the hot weather forecast for the first leg against Yanga.

"I spent six months playing for a club in Kosovo two years ago and could not get used to the cold conditions," said the 30-year-old.

His quarter-final first-leg header against Pyramids in Egypt earned Gallants an unexpected draw and a solitary goal gave the South Africans victory in the return match.

Arubin Kramo and Pacome Zouzoua- ASEC Mimomas

It is now 24 years since ASEC last experienced African glory by defeating Tunisian giants Esperance to lift the CAF Super Cup one season after winning the CAF Champions League.

Aubin Kramo and Pacome Zouzoua’s goals have brought the Abidjan outfit to the brink of another final appearance.

Kramo has netted four times and Zouzoua on three occasions as ASEC hopes to become the third West African winners of the competition after Hearts of Oak from Ghana and Stade Malien of Mali.

Aymen Mahious-USM Algier

Sharpshooter Aymen Mahious experienced heartbreak this year as hosts Algeria lost a penalty shootout against Senegal in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final.

He was one of the stand-out players in the tournament, created for home-based stars, scoring the only goal in each of three group victories and winning the Golden Boot with five goals.

Mahious has proven equally threatening in the Confederation Cup by netting three times, one of four USM players to achieve that feat in the African campaign.

CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals schedule (all kick-off times EAT):

Wednesday May 10 -First Leg

Young Africans (TAN) v Marumo Gallants (RSA) (1500 hrs) -Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

ASEC Mimosas (CIV) v USM Alger (ALG) (1500 hrs)- Bouake, Ivory Coast

Wednesday May 17-Second Legs

Marumo v Young Africans (1800 hrs) - Rustenburg, South Africa

USM v ASEC (2100 hrs)- Algiers, Algeria

Note: Winners qualify for the two-legged final on Sunday, May 28, and Saturday, June 3