Veteran goalkeeper Muteba Kidiaba starred as FIFA Club World Cup runners-up TP Mazembe from Congo DR collected a seventh African title today. Kidiaba saved a shootout kick against FUS Rabat from Morocco in southern Congolese city Lubumbashi and then converted a penalty to give his team a 9-8 victory after the one-off CAF Super Cup match finished goalless.
The 34-year-old dreadlocked goalkeeper put off retirement last year to help Mazembe reach the world final by stunning Internacional of Brazil 2-0 and has attracted a cult following for his habit of celebrating by using his bottom to bounce along the surface.
Each club scored four of five mandatory spot kicks before a capacity 35,000 Kenya Stadium crowd that included Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou. Mazembe and FUS converted four penalties each after the contest went to sudden death and with the score 8-8, Kidiaba took charge to ensure the 'Crows' collected the $75,000 winners' cheque.
The Congolese have won the CAF Champions League four times, the Super Cup twice and the now defunct CAF Cup Winners Cup once since the club was formed 72 years ago by Benedictine monks.
It was the first time they needed penalties to collect African silverware as star-less FUS proved stubborn, well-organised opponents in the annual clash of Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup title holders.
The Congolese won the territorial and possession battles in each half, but apart from a 31st-minute Mbenza Bedi header that rebounded off the foot of a post, rarely threatened to break the deadlock in an often scrappy game. This was a far cry from last October when Mazembe slammed five unanswered goals past Tunisian giants Esperance in the first leg of the Champions League decider and triumphed 6-1 on aggregate.
While DR Congo clubs have been successful in two of three Super Cup games, the Moroccan record is poor with Raja Casablanca winning and losing, Wydad Casablanca failing twice and FAR Rabat and FUS once each. Al-Ahly of Egypt hold the record with four victories followed by Cairo neighbours Zamalek with three and Enyimba of Nigeria and Etoile Sahel of Tunisia have lifted the trophy twice each.