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SuperSport stun Club African to reach CAF Confederation Cup final

Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Bradley Grobler of Supersport United during the 2017 Nedbank Cup final. Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

South African side SuperSport United claimed a surprise 3-1 victory over Tunisian outfit Club African in Rades on Sunday to book a final berth in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup.

SuperSport claim the tie 4-2 on aggregate, and will now meet Democratic Republic of Congo heavyweights Tout Puissant Mazembe in the decider over two legs next month.

The Pretoria-based were deserved winners on Sunday as South African international striker Bradley Grobler grabbed a brace of goals to go with a 10th of the competition for New Zealander Jeremy Brockie, who heads the scoring charts in the Confederation Cup this year.

Club Africain's goal came from the penalty spot as Saber Khalifa scored to offer them a lifeline they could not take.

SuperSport had to soak up some heavy pressure from the home side, but showed good composure and took their chances expertly with some clinical finishing.

Grobler had wasted an early chance before powerfully heading SuperSport in front on 16 minutes.

Veteran midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane supplied a superb pass to pick out winger Thuso Phala and his cross was headed home by Grobler.

That goal appeared to stun the home side, who battled to get out of the blocks, but SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was forced into one sublime save in the opening half.

The visitors led at the break by the single goal, but that soon became 2-0 when the excellent Teboho Mokoena provided an inch-perfect pass for Brockie to beat the offside trap and place the ball past home keeper Atef Dkhili.

That left the home side needing three goals to win and they pulled one back almost immediately as Morgan Gould was penalised for a push in the box and Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha correctly pointed to the spot.

Captain Khalifa made no mistake from the spot and the momentum swung heavily in the favour of the home side as they peppered the SuperSport goal with attacks.

However, they were caught out again as Grobler was set free through the middle by Phala and he again showed great composure to pass the ball into the back of the net past a helpless Dkhili.

SuperSport have already played TP Mazembe in the pool stages of the Confederation Cup this year. They drew 2-2 in Lubumbashi and 0-0 in Pretoria, suggesting the teams are evenly matched.

No South African side has won the Confederation Cup in the past, although Orlando Pirates were losing finalists in 2015, beaten on that occasion by Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel.

Current SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler was in charge of Pirates in that final.