Club World Cup: TP Mazembe Eliminated

African champions, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo have been eliminated from the ongoing Fifa Club World Cup after losing 3-0 to Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Osaka on Sunday. 

Mazembe, Club World Cup finalists five years ago, dominated the Japanese champions for long periods but lacked a killer touch. 

Defender Tsukasa Shiotani, who scored in the 2-0 win over Auckland City on Thursday, poked home a Yusuke Chajima corner to give Hiroshima the lead just before halftime. 

Centre-back Kazuhiko Chiba headed in a second goal 11 minutes after the break to put the newly crowned J-League champions firmly in control before substitute Takuma Asano added a third. 

Mazembe had their chances but failed to make the most of their opportunities. 

Mbwana Samatta got clean away from the defence early on but dallied over his shot and gave Chiba time to scramble back and tackle. 

Mazembe were again lively after halftime and substitute Thomas Ulimwengu fired a low shot just wide after breaking from inside his own half. 

It ends the Congolese club’s hopes of emulating or even bettering their performance from five years ago when they eliminated Brazilian side Internacional to reach the final where they lost to Rafael Benitez’s Inter Milan. 

TP Mazembe will now play for fifth place against Mexico’s Club America, beaten 2-1 by Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, on Wednesday (Dec. 16). 

Hiroshima will face Argentine side River Plate in the first semifinal on Wednesday before European Champions, Barcelona, come up against Guangzhou on Thursday.

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