Wydad Claim Super Cup with Super Goal

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar February 24, 2018 09:40

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Wydad Claim Super Cup with Super Goal

By Satish Sekar © satish Sekar (February 22nd 2018)

The Quadruple Year

Celtic supporters won an award from UEFA last year for a banner celebrating the Lisbon Lions. That remains the most incredible season in European club football’s history. Celtic not only became the first British club to win the European Cup, but won a quadruple – by any account a truly remarkable season, but it was not unique.

While Celtic are lauded, and rightly so, they are not the only team to have won a quadruple, and strangely it happened that very same year, but it was an African club that did it. Then known as TP Engelbert – TP stands for Tout Puissant, meaning Almighty – the pride of Congo-Kinshasa, as the Democratic Republic of Congo was referred to at the time emphasised their dominance over Congolese and African football.

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So Near to Failure

TP Engelbert’s triumph in Africa’s top competition could easily never have happened. In the first round of the African Champions Cup, the Republic of Congo’s champions Abeilles FC drew 3-3 on aggregate with Engelbert who progressed after drawing lots. They got lucky again in the quarter-final as Libya’s Al-Ittihad withdrew. They beat Ethiopia’s Saint George Sports Club in the semi-final – the best the Ethiopians have done in Africa’s top competition.

And their triumph in the final against Ghana’s Asante Kotoko was – well – totally bizarre. The first match ended 1-1, the second 2-2 after extra-time. The referee decided that lots would be drawn to determine the champions the day after the second match, but he was over-ruled by CAF’s General Secretary and rightly so. A third match was ordered, but Kotoko did not get the message and failed to turn up. TP Engelbert were declared the winners and a vital part of their quadruple was won in farcical circumstances.

A Great Team

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But this does an injustice to a great team. Just a year earlier Engelbert had won the treble – Congo’s league, its Cup and the Katanga Cup. They went one better in 1967 and in 1968 they became the first team to retain the African Cup of Champion’s Club. Nigeria’s Enyimba repeated the feat in 2003 and 2004 in the recently formed CAF Champions League and Egypt’s Al-Ahly – the most successful club in the tournament’s history – did it twice. Al Ahly won it in 2005 and the following year, losing in the final of 2007 before winning it back again in 2008, thereby matching Mazembe’s feat of reaching four consecutive finals. They won it again in 2012 and retained it in 2013.

Club Team of the Continent

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Ghana were the African team of the 1960s, reaching four consecutive finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, winning the first two and losing the latter two. TP Engelbert have a claim to be the African club team of the 1960s – they matched Ghana’s achievement in the African Champions Cup.

After 18 years in the doldrums, TP Mazembe emerged to reclaim their place, winning and retaining the African Champions League in 2009 and 2010, thereby becoming the first team to retain it twice. They won it again in 2016. The CAF Confederations Cup was founded in 2004. TP Mazembe won it in 2016 and again in 2017 when they dropped down from the CAF Champions League.

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They meet Wydad Casablanca in the CAF Supercup tomorrow – they have won it three times, but Wydad spot an opportunity as Mazembe have had problems in recent years.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar February 24, 2018 09:40