Saturday 21 April 2018

Football: Mighty Mazembe in trouble after home draw

Football: Mighty Mazembe in trouble after home draw
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
Football: Mighty Mazembe in trouble after home draw

African club giants TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo stumbled at their first CAF Champions League hurdle Sunday when held 1-1 by CAPS United of Zimbabwe.

Abbas Amidu put the visitors ahead inside a minute in southeastern mining city Lubumbashi and Zambian Rainford Kalaba levelled soon after.

Intense pressure from the winners of 10 CAF titles failed to produce any more goals and they face the grim prospect of a second successive early Champions League exit.

After winning the premier African club competition in 2015, Mazembe failed last year to reach the group phase, where the prize money kicks in.

Mazembe must score against CAPS in Harare next weekend in the second leg of the last-32 tie to have any chance of survival.

The Congolese won the secondary CAF Confederation Cup last year after being demoted from the Champions League, but lost their coach and four stars soon after.

French handler Hubert Velud moved to Tunisian club Etoile Sahel, who are also playing in the Champions League, and was succeeded by compatriot Thierry Froger.

Congolese Christian Luyindama, Merveille Bope and Jonathan Bolingi joined Belgian club Standard Liege and Ivorian Roger Assale moved to Swiss side Young Boys Berne.

While Froger is worried, Velud can look forward to a place in the expanded 16-club group phase after Etoile won 3-0 at home against AS Tanda of the Ivory Coast.

Late first-half goals from defenders Ziad Boughattas and Ammar Jemal put the visitors on the back foot and Hamur Bouazza added a third 18 minutes from time.

Nigerian clubs had mixed fortunes with Rivers United building a 3-0 home lead over Al Merrikh of Sudan while Enugu Rangers crumbled 4-1 against Zamalek in Egypt.

Guy Kuemian bagged a four-minute brace during the first half for Rivers in Port Harcourt and Esosa Igbinoba added a third goal near the end.

Nigerian Stanley Ohawuchi began the demolition of Enugu with an eighth-minute goal in Cairo for 2016 Champions League runners-up Zamalek.

Hossam Salama, Aymen Hefny and Mostafa Fathy also scored for the "White Knights" before Bobby Clement grabbed a late consolation goal.

Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya, forced to host FUS Rabat of Morocco in Tunisia for security reasons, won 2-0 with leading Champions League scorer Moayad Allafi breaking the deadlock.

Saint George of Ethiopia upset AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville 1-0 in Dolisie with Mintesinot Adane scoring on 24 minutes and red-carded late in the game.

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