In a few hours, Florent Ibenge will find an opponent he knows well, maybe even very well: TP Mazembe. At Berkane, the Congolese technician had to overcome his Indian mark. For the first time in his career, he was able to get rid of his former rival in DRC in African competition.
We didn’t expect to find Florent Ibenge so soon. After the draw for the competition in April, the chances of meeting the Android Coach again have become more certain. Last week, he faced a “rival” club after his time at the Vita, between 2013 and 2019. For Ibenge: “Returning to our homeland is a great joy. Playing Mazembe or any other team is always fun. And now playing Mazembe is an honor because it’s a great team. It is a great honor not only to return to the country, but also to come with such a strong team from the country..
His club lost, but he knows he still has every chance of overcoming the 0-1 deficit suffered at Kamalondo. Before the match, Mazembe’s camp did not escape from two-time champion Linafoot. “He did it over 6 years at VClub, he leaves with how many wins over Mazembe? There are things that are not comparable, we wouldn’t put Berkane and Mazembe in the same place, despite the fact that they are at the same stage of the competition and the comparisons stop there. said Frédéric Kintengie before the game. The atmosphere of the return of the promise is about to explode.
Africa’s challenge to save the season and its future
Renaissance Berkane was ambitious. “Every time we are in Morocco in training we always play Berkane, it is a very good young team that is developing and that is not a problem”, analyzed Secretary Mazembe. Every year, Moroccan clubs seek to settle in the gratin of African football by investing in the recruitment of the best local players and some expatriates, including the Congolese colonists or former Linafoot: Chadrack Muzungu, Youssoufa Dayo, Tuisla Rossien.
Winner of his first continental competition in 2020, against the Pyramids 1-0, Berkane only had this competition to save his season. 7 in Botola Pro, Berkane will only play Africa if the club goes to the end of the competition. Facing his “kids”, Ibenge must find the formula. “It’s not easy playing against your kids either, because I have a lot of kids in Mazembe, but even when they are my opponents, I always tell them to play well” trying to defuse the tension, the Congolese technician.
The result of the Berkane City Stadium will count especially for Florent Ibenge’s future in Morocco. If for now he is not worried, leaving Mazembe or going to the end can surely reassure the very demanding Moroccan public. On the other hand, it will sow uncertainty. For Ibenge, the time to defeat his Indians has come, it’s up to him to become an exorcist.
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