CAF Champions League: Mazembe, USM Alger to Battle in the Final

 

Tanzania international Mbwana Samatta scored twice while Ivory Coast’s Roger Assale added the third as Congolese side TP Mazembe beat Sudan’s Al Merreikh 3-0 to secure their spot in the CAF Champions League final where they will meet Algeria’s USM Alger.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Mazembe, four times former champions, were a different animal in front of their home fans in Lubumashi as they overturned the tie on its head to reach the final for the first time since they won the second of two back-to-back Champions League titles in 2010, winning 4-2 in aggregate.

After reaching the semi-finals three times in the last four years, Mazembe are in the final for the first time since they won the second of two back-to-back Champions League titles in 2010.

A tense opening half ended barren but the Congolese side took only eight second half minutes to take the lead, the in-form Samatta heading home from a corner.

The Taifa Stars forward doubled his and Mazembe’s lead in the 70th minute, pushing a low cross past Uganda-born Merrikh goalkeeper Jamal Salim at the near post.

Within two minutes, rampant Mazembe struck again with half-time substitute Assale slamming a loose ball into the net after Salim blocked his first scoring attempt, putting Mazembe in the final having reached the semi-finals three times in the last four years.

They will battle USM Alger who reached the African Champions League final for the first time in their history, despite only drawing 0-0 at home against another Sudanese side Al Hilal.

The Algiers club won the first leg of the semi-final 2-1 in Omdurman last weekend and qualified by that score on aggregate.

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