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Football

Al Ahly hold TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi

CAF

Reigning African champions champions, Al Ahly SC will be happy to take a 0-0 draw to the return leg of the Semi-Finals after holding five-time champions, TP Mazembe to a goalless draw in Lubumbashi on Saturday afternoon in the first leg of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Semi-Finals.  

It was a frustrating afternoon for the former champions who laboured for the victory but were held at bay by the defending champions who will be happy with the results on the road. 

With the backing of the crowd, it was the hosts who fired the first warning after Filly Traore did well to rise above his markers to head at goal but saw his effort go narrowly wide, with Mostafa Shoubir beaten. 

At the half hour mark, Mazembe captain Glody Likonza was unlucky not to find the back of the net after doing well to beat his marker with a diving header but his effort went just over the bar as Ahly survived a scare. 

The hosts continued piling on the pressure with the crowd behind them but poor finishing in the final third was their downfall, as the defending champions showed resilience to go into the break without conceding. 

Coming back from the break, Mazembe picked up from where they left off as they sent numbers forward in search of the much-needed opener. 

Substitute Merceil Vumbi, who injected some much needed pace in the Mazembe attack was unlucky not put his side in the lead at the hour mark after his grass-cutting strike went off target with the keeper having no chance. 

The golden opportunity of the match fell in the path of Zemanga Soze who after doing well to eliminate his marker sent his left footed effort wide off target from a very close range to the dissapointment of the fans in Lubumbashi. 

With just minutes left on the clock, Mazembe looked to have secured a vital win after a well taken corner in the 88th minute found the head of Phillippes Kinzumbi who’s effort went agonisingly over the bar. 

While Mazembe will be dissapointed with not having found the back of the net at home, it is all to play for in Cairo next Friday as the tie is still very much open for any of the two sides.

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