08 November 2015 03:39
DR Congo giants TP Mazembe beat USM Alger 2-0 on Sunday in Lubumbashi to claim the 2015 Orange CAF Champions League title.
Leading marksman Mbwana Samata scored from the spot on 75 minutes before substitute Roger Assale put the icing on cake in added-on time as Mazembe completed a double over their guests and 4-1 on aggregate to claim their fifth continental crown.
‘Les Corbeaux’ whose other triumphs were in 1967, 1968, 2009 and 2010 pocketed a 1.5 million US Dollars for the feat in addition to the ticket to represent the continent at the FIFA Club World Cup from 10-20 December 2015 in Japan.
The Algerians, USM Alger, were 1 million US Dollars richer for their efforts, despite failing to replicate the feat of their rivals, ES Setif, who beat AS Vita of DR Congo last year to win the biggest prize in continental club football.
A 2-1 win from the first leg last week in Algiers gave Mazembe a firm base to build on, but they had to wait till midway into the second half to realize their breakthrough against a determined USMA side, who matched their hosts squarely in every department of the game.
USMA coach Miloud Hamdi handed a surprise start to second choice goalie Ismail Mansouri ahead of Mohamed Zemmamouche, who had amassed over 1000 minutes of playing time over the period, and the former did not disappoint standing tall and denying the homers the opener a couple of times.
After a barren balanced first half, Mazembe coach Patrice Carteron made double substitutions, bringing on Daniel Nii Adjei and Assale for Nathan Sinkala and Solomon Asante respectively for the second session.
The introduction of fresh limbs began to pay off for ‘Les Corbeaux’ and on 62 minutes, Malian Adama Traore was unlucky to see his shot from close range missed target narrowly.
At the other end, Hocine Benayada fired a low shot which flew just across the face of goal.
The turning point of the game was on 74 minutes when Assale after beating two defenders was felled by Farouk Chafai for a penalty which was converted with ease by Samata for the opener.
The Algerians had a good chance to draw level on 83 minutes but substitute Rachid Nadji missed a sitter with only Kidiaba to beat after Kaddour Beldjilali had put him through.
In the fourth minute of added-on, Mazembe broke loose on the counter with Samata and Assale upfront against Mansouri, and Samata squared Assale, who shot into the yawning to seal victory.