Sundowns end 74-match unbeaten home record of Mazembe


Johannesburg (AFP) – South African club Mamelodi Sundowns ended the 74-match unbeaten home record in African competitions of Democratic Republic of Congo team TP Mazembe with a 2-1 CAF Champions League victory Saturday.      

Set-piece specialist Lyle Lakay scored direct from a free-kick with 20 seconds of regular time remaining to earn the Pretoria outfit a famous win in southern Congolese city Lubumbashi.

Namibian Peter Shalulile put 2016 African champions Sundowns ahead on 67 minutes as Mazembe players appealed for offside in a spectator-less stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Veteran Tresor Mputu, widely regarded as one of the greatest African footballers never to play in Europe, levelled on 82 minutes by punishing defensive hesitancy from Mosa Lebusa.  

“We prepared extremely well for this match against great opponents,” Sundowns joint head coach Manqoba Mngqithi told AFP after becoming the first South African club to win in Lubumbashi.

“The boys entered the match brimming with confidence born out of going 22 domestic and international matches without defeat since last October.

“I am unsure why we were not awarded a goal in the first half after putting the ball in the net,” added the successor to Pitso Mosimane, who joined Egyptian and African giants Al Ahly last September. 

Five-time African champions Mazembe last lost a home CAF match in October 2009, going down 2-0 to Al Hilal of Sudan in a Champions League semi-final.

Since that shock loss, the Ravens won 61 matches, drawn 13, scored 166 goals and conceded 34 in Champions League, Confederation Cup and Super Cup matches before facing Sundowns.

– Good day for South Africa –

Success took Sundowns to a maximum nine points from three matches at the halfway stage in Group B while Mazembe, Hilal and CR Belouizdad of Algeria have two each.

On a good day for South Africa, third-place Kaizer Chiefs won for the first time in Group C with goals from Eric Mathoho and Happy Mashiane delivering a 2-0 victory over Angolan visitors Petro Atletico.  

Zamalek, who lost to Ahly in an all-Egyptian 2020 Champions League final, had Ahmed el Fatouh sent off on 58 minutes after being yellow-carded twice as they fell 3-1 away to Esperance of Tunisia.

El Fatouh cancelled a goal by Ivorian William Togai before Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane scored on the stroke of half-time and again early in the second half for the Tunis club.

Esperance top Group D with seven points, Mouloudia Alger of Algeria have five after a 1-0 win at bottom-of-the-table Teungueth of Senegal, and Zamalek only two.

Surprise Group A frontrunners Simba of Tanzania followed up a home victory over defending champions Ahly by drawing 0-0 with Al Merrikh of Sudan in Omdurman.

Merrikh, bottom of the table with only one point from three outings, sacked Tunisian coach Nasreddine Nabi after the match.

Ahly host V Club of DR Congo later Saturday and will lack winger Mahmoud Kahraba, who has been suspended for one month and fined $12,500 (10,500 euros) after reportedly clashing with Mosimane.

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