Teams: SPORTING CP & Portugal NT
Entente Setif win first leg
in BBC Football, 29.11.2009
Algerian club Entente Setif defeated Stade Malien of Mali 2-0 at home to win the first leg of the Confederation Cup final.
A brace from the competition's top scorer 25-year-old Abdulmalek Ziaya clinched the win for Entente.
This takes his tally to 15 goals in 15 games, and boosts his chances of an international call-up.
His first was a penalty which Stade's keeper parried back into Ziaya's path for him to score.
His second came with with ten minutes remaining when he initially failed to control a cross, but span around and shot right-footed past the keeper.
The second half of this encounter was a frustrating affair with neither team really taking control.
Entente Setif are hoping to make 2009 a memorable year for Algerian football following the national team's qualification for the World Cup in South Africa.
Ziaya will be hoping his performance in this competition could earn him a call-up from national coach Rabah Saadane for the Nations Cup tournament in January in Angola.
Winners of the Arab Champions League in 2007 and 2008, Entente have had less success in Africa as it is 21 years since they lifted the African Champions Cup by outclassing Nigerian rivals Iwuanyanwu Nationale 4-1 on aggregate.
However, the long African trophy drought did not prevent the 'Black Eagles' being among the Cup favourites from the kick-off 10 months ago and they won six of seven home games with the sole blip a 3-1 loss to Egyptian outfit ENPPI.
Stade, based in the industrial eastern sector of capital city Bamako, are back in an African final 44 years after losing the first African Champions Cup decider to Oryx Douala of Cameroon in Accra.
They defied considerable odds to get this far and owe much to penalty area predators Bakary Coulibaly and Ousmane Bagayoko, who shared the six goals that sunk ENPPI in the semi-finals.
Previous winners of a competition that replaced the African Cup Winners Cup and Caf Cup in 2004 include Hearts of Oak of Ghana, FAR Rabat of Morocco, Etoile Sahel and fellow Tunisians Sfaxien, who won twice in succession.
Apart from the prize money and prestige, whoever emerges victorious will face African Champions League holders TP Mazembe of DR Congo next year for the Super Cup.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”