TP Mazembe have eliminated Group C rivals Ismaily from the CAF Champions League after holding their hosts 1-1 in Alexandria on Friday night.
The result of the match, which was played behind closed doors at the Borg El Arab Stadium, ensures the Egyptian side (which had previously been ejected and the re-instated into the competition) cannot reach the quarterfinals. The DR Congo giants remain in second spot with eight points.
Despite the poor state of the pitch, the DR Congo giants settled into a rhythm which saw them dominating possession and looking to find a way through Ismaily’s defence.
Mazembe missed out on a great opportunity to claim the lead in the 25th minute, with Jackson Muleka and Rainford Kalaba combining to set up Meschak Elia, who failed to trouble the Ismaily goalkeeper.
However, the 21-year-old Congolese forward had his radar set right in the 40th minute, getting on the end of a cross from Muleka before sending a shot between the leg of ‘keeper Mohamed Fawzy.
The Ravens lead 1-0 at the break, but the Egyptians needed just 10 minutes of the second stanza to hit back, with Abdelrahman Magdy beating goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro with a fine effort to draw level at 1-1.
The goal boosted Ismaily’s confidence and they began to dictate terms, testing out Mounkoro on several more occasions. Yet the final minutes saw the visitors throwing men forward in an attempt to win the game, but they too were left frustrated.
Mazembe will be back in action next weekend with a top-of-the-table clash at home to Algeria’s CS Constantine. Ismaily will complete their campaign away to Tunisia’s Club Africain.
Ismaily (0) 1 (Magdy 55’)
TP Mazembe (1) 1 (Elia 40’)
Ismaily: Fawzy, Ayman, Baffour, Mohamady, Taha (Ibrahim 46’), Eldarf (Dunga 68’), Hamdy, Magdy, Khaleq (Shilongo 56’), Hakim, Marshal
Mazembe: Mounkoro, Masengo, Chongo, Mondeko, Zola, Koffi, Mika (Likonza 71’), Elia, Mputu (Malango 85’), Kalaba (Ushindi 65’), Muleka