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Mazembe on course for Champions League final

BBC Sport - October 3, 2010
TP Mazembe

Holders TP Mazembe kept alive their hopes of retaining the Champions league trophy after defeating Algeria's JS Kabylie 3-1 in the first leg of the semi final on Sunday.

Six-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt will take a narrow 2-1 lead into the second leg of their clash with Esperance of Tunisia in Tunis.

The home side took a two-goal lead with goals from Mohamed Fadl and Ahmed Fathi at the Cairo Stadium.

But Esperance captain Oussama Darragi took advantage of a mistake from Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekrami to reduce the arrears.

Meanwhile, Two goals from striker Alain Kaluyituka Dioko helped the DR Congo side to seal the victory in Lubumbashi.

Dioko put the home side in the lead after ten minutes when he diverted a pass from Patou Kabangu to beat the Algerian keeper.

Mazembe dominated the game before break but JS Kabylie improved their play after the break and deservedly drew level in the 70th minute through striker Nabil Yalaoui.

The coach of the home side Lamine Ndiaye reacted to the quick passing strategy adopted by Kabylie and made some changes.

The decision paid off as substitute Kasongo Ngandu restored the home side's lead in the 83rd minute before Dioko's header late in the game sealed the victory.

Mazembe are playing in the competition without their influential playmaker Mputu Mabi because of a one-year suspension slapped on him by Fifa.

On the evidence of their performance this after, Mazembe fans must confident that even without Mputu they can get the desired result in the return leg in two weeks' time to reach the final.

The second leg of the semi-final will take place in two weeks' time.

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