Mazembe roar into semifinals

Rainford Kalaba

Rainford Kalaba

TP Mazembe breezed through to the 2014 CAF Champions League semifinals after a 3-1 home win over Al Hilal of Sudan in Lubumbashi on Sunday.

Mazembe’s win over their Sudanese opponents also saw them avenge the 1-0 loss they suffered on match-day-one in Group A meeting on May 16 in Khartoum.

Since then, Mazembe are unbeaten after picking up three wins and a scoreless draw away to Zamalek a fortnight ago in Alexandria.

The five-time champions advanced to the last four with a game to spare on 10 points from five matches played in Group A.

Meanwhile, Mazembe took a comfortable 1-0 lead into the break through their Zambia international midfielder Rainford Kalaba.

Kalaba slotted in the ball off a rebound after Ghana midfielder Solomon Asante’s free-kick came off the post.

Al Hilal had an opportunity to level scores a minute before the break through OumarSidibe but his shot went inches wide of the post.

The visitors continued to put pressure on Mazembe after the break and in the 52nd minute BakariBabakar failed to beat Mazembe goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba.

Six minutes later, Asante fired in a long-range shot from 18 metres out to extend Mazembe’s lead.

AdamaTraore made it 3-0 in the 76th minute after MbwanaSamatta placed the ball into his path following a sweeping counter attack that also involved Asante.

Veteran Sudan striker Mudather El Tahir snatched Al Hilal’s consolation goal deep into injury time.

The defeat has virtually knocked out Al Hilal, who have four points from five games heading into their formality fixture at home against Zamalek in Khartoum on August 23.

Mazembe, on the other hand, visit their DR Congo arch-rivals AS Vita on the same date to decide their top-two status heading into next month’s semifinals that kick off on October 25.

 

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