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A Heroes' Welcome for African champions TP Mazembe

FIFA Club World Cup finalists TP Mazembe met by thousands of fans in the Congolese capital

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 20 Dec 2010
TP Mazembe
TP Mazembe players received a warm welcome at home

The Congolese club TP Mazembe made history by becoming the first African club to reach the final of the FIFA Club World Cup after beating the Copa Libertadores champions Internacional of Brazil 2-0 in the semi-finals.

A 3-0 defeat to European champions Inter Milan in the final meant that was as afar as they would go.

The success of the four-time African champions in getting that far saw fans line the streets of the capital Lubumbashi to celebrate and welcome the team home as it travelled from the Luano airport to downtown.

“Thousands of fans streamed the streets of Lubumbashi to greet the team,” Congo News Agency reported on Sunday.

“Many wearing the black and white team’s colours, the fans sung and danced to honour those who carried the hopes – and were the pride – of an entire continent at the competition,” they added.

Coming second wasn’t the only achievement for the African champions, their striker Dioko Kaluyituka was awarded the Silver Ball for being the tournament’s second best player.

“Also the fans were grateful for an epic year in which the DR Congo side also made history by becoming the first team in Africa to successfully defend its Champions League title twice,” the Congolese agency added.

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© 2010 Ahram Online.