Mazembe Coach Believes Team Can Qualify Despite 0-0 Draw in First Leg Against Al Ahly

TP Mazembe and Al Ahly played a 0-0 draw in the CAF Champions League semifinal first leg. The tie remains wide open as Mazembe aim to score in Cairo and reach their first final since 2015.

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Mazembe Coach Believes Team Can Qualify Despite 0-0 Draw in First Leg Against Al Ahly

Mazembe Coach Believes Team Can Qualify Despite 0-0 Draw in First Leg Against Al Ahly

TP Mazembe and Al Ahly SC played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their CAF Champions League semifinal tie in Lubumbashi on April 20, 2024. Despite the goalless result at home, Mazembe coach Lamine N'Diaye remains confident his team can advance to the next round by scoring in the second leg in Cairo.

Mazembe, the five-time African champions, had several chances to take the lead in front of their home fans at the Stade TP Mazembe. Filly Traore, Glody Likonza, and Zemanga Soze all came close to finding the net, but poor finishing prevented them from breaking the deadlock. Mazembe captain Glody Likonza had a diving header go just over the bar, while substitute Merceil Vumbi and Zemanga Soze also missed opportunities to score.

Reigning champions Al Ahly were able to withstand Mazembe's pressure and hold on for the draw. The Egyptian giants struggled to adapt to the conditions at the Kamalondo stadium in the first half but managed to impose their rhythm more in the second half, making it difficult for Mazembe to reach the opposing goal. South Africa international Percy Tau made his 100th appearance for Al Ahly, coming on as a substitute in the second half.

Why this matters: The result leaves the semifinal tie wide open heading into the decisive second leg in Cairo next Friday. A spot in the CAF Champions League final is on the line, with the winner of this matchup facing either Esperance Sportive Tunis or Mamelodi Sundowns. As two of Africa's most successful clubs, the clash between Mazembe and Al Ahly carries significant weight in the continent's premier club competition.

Despite the disappointment of not scoring at home, Mazembe coach Lamine N'Diaye remains optimistic about his team's chances. "We can qualify for the next round by scoring in the second leg against Al Ahly in Cairo," N'Diaye said after the match. "The tie remains wide open for both teams." The second leg will take place at the Cairo International Stadium on April 28, with Mazembe needing a score draw or win to advance to their first Champions League final since 2015.

Key Takeaways

  • TP Mazembe and Al Ahly played a 0-0 draw in the 1st leg of the CAF CL semifinal.
  • Mazembe had several chances but failed to score, while Al Ahly held firm defensively.
  • The result leaves the semifinal tie wide open heading into the decisive 2nd leg in Cairo.
  • Mazembe coach Lamine N'Diaye remains confident his team can advance by scoring in Cairo.
  • The winner will face either Esperance Tunis or Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF CL final.