Lakay freekick breaks Mazembe hearts in Lubumbashi

Sundowns USMA 111

Lyle Lakay’s freekick at the stroke of 90 minutes handed Mamelodi Sundowns a 2-1 victory over TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi on Saturday as Masandawana kept their unbeaten form in Group B of the Total CAF Champions League intact.

Mazembe’s comeback trail which had started off with Tresor Mputu’s equalizer eight minutes from time came to a screeching halt with Lakay converting a last gasp winner for the South African champions.

Sundowns have now collected nine points from three matches to sit pretty on top of the group while Mazembe, who saw their 21-match unbeaten run clipped remain on two points after back to back draws.

This was also the first time since 2009 that Mazembe lost a Champions League tie at home.

Mputu had stepped off the bench to cancel out Peter Shalulile’s goal after an exciting second half, but the home side could not hold on to victory and conceded late.

Mazembe dominate opening half

Despite their dominance for much of the opening half, home side Mazembe would have almost gone to the break trailing, but had the upright and goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro to thank for remaining level at 0-0.

Sundowns star striker Themba Zwane picked up the ball at the edge of the box eight minutes to the break before firing a low shot destined to the bottom left, but the keeper pushed it to the upright before bouncing back to collect the rebound before it rolled into the net.

The Ravens had dominated much of possession in the tie and had chances to score, but could not go beyond Dennis Onyango in the Sundowns goal.

TPM

In the 13th minute, a cross from Issama Mpeko on the right found Chico Ushindi inside the box, but the striker’s connecting shot on the half turn couldn’t gather enough power, the ball rolling straight into the keeper’s gloves.

Youngster Chris Kisangala had a go at goal on the quarter hour mark when he dribbled inside from the right, but his left foot shot flew wide. Another similar opportunity fell on Kabaso Chongo, this time the centre back driving from deep into his half but the final shot was wide.

After surviving from Zwane’s chance, Mazembe tried to get their heads infront and at the stroke of halftime came close but Moustapha Kouyate’s low shot from the right was parried away by the keeper before Thapelo Morena whipped away the rebound.

Sundowns stronger in the second half

In the second half, Sundowns came back a stronger team and eight minutes in should have been ahead but Mazembe keeper Mounkoro pulled off a double save to deny Morena from close range.

But, they went ahead in the 66th minute when Shalulile broke the offside trap to slide in past the keeper after picking up a little pretty pass from Themba Zwane which slit through the two central defenders.

Mazembe almost got back into the game three minutes later when Jean Baleke’s shot on the outer foot rattled the crossbar. But the Ravens fought on and Mputu’s introduction worked wonders when he equalized in the 82nd minute.

The veteran forward picked up a looped ball from Joseph Ochaya before beating Onyango. Mputu could have doubled his tally just four minutes later but Onyango pulled off a stunning save, going low to block the striker’s effort one on one after being played through on goal.

For that missed chance, Mazembe paid, Lakay striking a freekick that took an awkward bounce infront of the keeper and into the net to give the South Africans maximum points away from home.