AFRICAN CONFEDERATION CUP 2017 - GROUP STAGE - 1ST MATCHES - results so far
AFRICAN CONFEDERATION CUP 2017
Sat: FUS Rabat vs KCCA 2:0
Sun: Club Africain vs Rivers Utd -:-
Sat: CS Sfaxien vs Mbabane Swallows 1:0
Sun: Platinum Stars vs Mouloudia Alger -:-
Sat: Zesco Utd vs Smouha 1:0
Sun: Recreativo Libolo vs Al Hilal Obeid -:-
Fri: SuperSport Utd vs Horoya 2:2
Sun: TP Mazembe vs CF Mounana -:-
Zesco United are aiming to become the first Zambian winners of the Confederation Cup after they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last year.
They are one of 16 teams in the group stage of the Confederation Cup that begins this weekend.
Zesco open their Group C campaign at home to Egypt's Smouha on Saturday.
"If we believe in each other we can lift the trophy," said striker John Ching'andu.
The 23-year-old scored twice as Zesco reached the expanded group phase by beating Enugu Rangers of Nigeria 3:0 at home.
United had also shown spirit in the first leg as they recovered from two goals behind to force a 2:2 draw.
Serbian coach Zlatko Krmpotic shares the optimism of Ching'andu.
"Smouha are a good team who I know from my days as assistant coach of TP Mazembe in the Democratic Republic of Congo," he said.
"We beat them 2:0 away and 1:0 at home in the CAF Champions League, but they were no pushovers and deserve respect."
The Egyptians edged South African Premiership leaders Wits in a one-goal tie settled by a penalty.
Title-holders TP Mazembe tackle CF Mounana of Gabon in a clash between two Champions League drop-outs.
Former Confederation Cup winners FUS Rabat of Morocco host Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the first Ugandan club to qualify for the group stage of a continental competition.
KCCA came close to shocking title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the Champions League before being demoted to the Confederation Cup.
Mbabane Swallows, the first Swaziland club to make a CAF group stage, have a challenging start away to record three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien of Tunisia Sfaxien.
The Tunisians scored seven unanswered goals in two previous home victories and Karim Aouadhi and Senegalese Mohamed Ndoye score consistently.