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Thursday, December 7, 2023

TP Mazembe fight back to end CAF Champions League on high note in win over Al-Hilal Omdurman

In a match that turned out to have little implications, Congolese champions TP Mazembe ended their CAF Champions League campaign on a good note and eliminated Al-Hilal Omdurman with their 2-1 victory at home. The result ends with both teams switching places on the Group B table, Mazembe ending in third place and the team from Sudan in last.

Knowing a win might be their ticket to qualifying for the quarter-finals, Al-Hilal attacked without fear and found a quick reward right on the two-minute mark to boost their odds. Mohamed Abdel Raman displayed his dribbling ability on the left flank and got to the end-line, cutting back low for fellow Sudan national team member Eid Mugadam to turn in.

However, Mazembe were energized by the early concession and refused to go out quietly. A methodical 18th minute buildup for the hosts led to a Joseph Ochaya through ball that sent in Joel Beya. With Hilal goalkeeper Ali Achrine coming out, the ball dribbled between him and Beya and into the goal with neither player touching the pass.

Both teams exchanged chances in a closely contested match, but a Mazembe side bent on ending the campaign positively prevailed with a 76th minute winner. 17-year-old starlet Isaac Tshibangu came on as a substitute and got involved right away, directing a powerful low header from an Issama Mpeko cross to beat Achrine and make the difference for the victory. The elation for the hosts was clear despite knowing they were eliminated whatever the result.

Highlights of the match are below.

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For international readers