TP Mazembe moved top of Group A after beating Egyptian giants, Zamalek 1-0 in their Day Three clash on Sunday in Lubumbashi.
Zambia-import Rainford Kalaba scored early in the first half to take the DR Congo champions’ points tally to six, two more than fellows AS Vita and Al Hilal of Sudan, leaving five-time winners Zamalek at the bottom with three points.
It was the successive loss by the White Knights on Congolese soil after a 1-0 loss to AS Vita last month in the capital, Kinshasa. Zamalek, thus have to bounce back stronger in the remaining three matches to stand any realistic chance of advancing to the last four of the competition they last won in 2002.
‘Les Corbeaux’ as the hosts are nicknamed were in control from the start, and made their dominance count with the opener on 13 minutes through Kalaba, who scrambled home from close range.
Pacy winger Solomon Asante took a run at the Zamalek defence, weaving past Mohamed Abdel Shafy, whose failed sloppy clearance gifted the ball to Kalaba, who shot feebly but surprisingly went into the net for what turned out to be the only goal of the match.
The Congolese maintained control whilst Zamalek labored in search of their rhythm.
The Egyptians came to into the picture later in the second half but rarely troubled Mazembe goalie Muteba Kidiaba.
In the dying embers, Zamalek goalie Abd El Sayed was to his side’s rescue with a save on a one-on-one situation stopping Daniel Nii Adjei.
Mazembe, who were without leading marksman Mbwana Samata hanged on to secure their second win at the group stage. Their first victory was against fellows, whom they beat 1-0 last month.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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