TP Mazembe of the DR Congo look slightly favourites to win the African Confederation Cup after holding MO Bejaia to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the final in Blida on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead via a penalty from Jonathan Bolingi two minutes before the break but an exquisite free kick from Faouzi Yaya in the second half brought Bejaia level.
Mazembe, four-time winners of the elite African Champions League, survived a late onslaught to come close to winning their first title of the continent's secondary club competition.
The second leg will take place in Lubumbashi on 6 November.
Bejaia mounted early pressure and almost went ahead after 19 minutes when Morgan Betorangal broke clear after a through pass but failed in his attempt to round goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo.
Mazembe then stunned the home crowd on 43 minutes when Roger Assale robbed a defender and broke clear before being tripped by keeper Chamseddine Rahmani as the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
Bolingi stepped up and found the bottom corner although Rahmani got a hand to his low shot.
Yaya drew Bejaia level six minutes past the hour mark when his delightful free-kick from 25 metres went over the wall and into the top corner.
He was guilty of squandering two clear-cut chances in the latter stages as Mazembe held on for a valuable draw ahead of the second leg.
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