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Five-time winners Mazembe crash out of CAF Champions League

TP Mazembe out

 

Five-time title-holders TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo were eliminated from the CAF Champions League Friday after losing 2-0 at Chabab Belouizdad of Algeria.

The visitors were undone by goals from substitutes Amir Sayoud and Youcef Bechou in the dying minutes with Ahmed Gasmi, who also came off the bench in the second half, creating both.

Gasmi crossed for Sayoud to sneak between two defenders and nod past Malian goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro on 84 minutes at an empty July 5 Stadium in Algiers because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Belouizdad struck again two minutes later as the strength of Gasmi took him past two defenders and his cutback was tapped in by unmarked Bechou.

Chabab Belouizdad celebrate after surprise victory

Defeat left Mazembe, who have won 11 CAF competitions altogether, bottom of Group B with just two points with one round remaining and they cannot finish among the top two and qualify for the quarter-finals.

Mazembe were quarter-finalists twice and semi-finalists once in the past three seasons and most pundits expected the Ravens to at least make the last eight again in this campaign.

They faced Belouizdad with a weakened side as Ivorians Sylvain Gbohouo and Christian Koffi, Guinean Moustapha Kouyate, Ugandan Joseph Ochaya and Tanzanian Thomas Ulimwengu did not return in time from Africa Cup of Nations duties.

Victory for Belouizdad came after a run of only one win in 11 matches, leading to the resignation of French coach Franck Dumas this week.

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In the same section, already-qualified Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa surrendered the last perfect record among the 16 group participants when held 0-0 by Al Hilal of Sudan in Omdurman.

Sundowns, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and Esperance of Tunisia have reached the quarter-finals and Simba of Tanzania, defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt and Mouloudia Alger of Algeria could join them Saturday.

 

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