TP Mazembe of the DR Congo (File photo: Reuters)
Four-time winners TP Mazembe booked their place in the African Champions League semifinal after two second-half goals gave them a 2-0 victory over already-qualified Ahly in Lubumbashi on Sunday.
Tanzanian internationals Mbwana Samatta and Deo Kanda cranked it up a notch after the break following a handful of dreadful defensive mistakes to give Mazembe all three points.
Both sides now have ten points on top of Group B, boasting an unassailable five-point lead over third-placed Berekum Chelsea of Ghana with one match to go.
Ahly have to beat Cairo rivals Zamalek and hope Mazembe do not overcome Chelsea in their last game to advance as the group winners, as the DR Congo side enjoy a better head-to-head record.
The Red Devils are hoping to avoid a tricky semi-final clash against Group A leaders Esperance of Tunisia, who knocked them out at the same stage two years ago on the away-goals rule following a 2-2 aggregate draw.
Despite the return of combative defender Wael Gomaa, Ahly struggled to keep skilful Mazembe at bay. The visitors survived Mazembe's first-half onslaught but could not withstand a wave of attacks in the second period.
Mazembe's pressure paid dividends three minutes after the restart when the in-form Tresor Mputu bamboozled Gomaa on the left-hand side of the penalty area before whipping in a cross that Ahly keeper Sherif Ekramy fumbled, allowing Samatta to bring it home.
Kanda wrapped up the win in minute 61 with a low shot from inside the area following some superb individual work from Mputu, who at one time had been targeted by Ahly.
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