Two costly mistakes denied Ethiopia’s St. George FC a historic triumph over five times African Champions TP Mazembe of Congo DR.
The round 2/16 of CAF Champions League match ended 2-2 before a fully packed Bahir Dar Stadium – complicating progression chances for Kidus Giorgis – heading into the second leg which Mazembe host at their fortress, Stade Mazembe, where they are never known to lose to any opponent.
Behailu Assefa brought down Bahir Dar with a superb strike in the 11th minute – giving the host an expected lead.
The lead lasted upto the stroke of half time when sloppy defending saw Ghanaian Daniel Adjei levels for the Hobert Velud’s side.
St. George made matters more complex for themselves on resumption, when under pressure Aschalew Tamene turned the ball into his own net – putting Mazembe in the lead for the first time in the tie.
Never to be deterred, the Horsemen pressed further forward in search of an equalizer, at least for the pride of their fans who travelled far and wide to come give them support.
Ramlek Lok 50th minute shot forced Mazembe keeper Gbohouo to a great save.
Adane Girma then leveled for Kidus nine minutes later from a marvelous run of play, rekindling hopes for bagging three points, but Mazembe were equally determined to score.
Substitute Rodger Assale who had earlier come on for Thomas Ulimwengu stretched Kidus keeper Robert Odonkgara to beautiful save in the 70th minute.
Adane then set up Behailu with a brilliant ball on the other end, but he failed to finish, as the match failed to yield a winner.
St. George FC travels to DR Congo for the second leg in two weeks time.
St George XI: Robert Odonkora, Mehari ,Ayzak, Aschalew Girma,Alula, Tesfaye ,Adane Natenael, Minyahile ,Behailu ,Ramkel
TP Mazembe XI GBOHOUO – KABASO. KIMWAKI, COULIBALY, KASUSULA – BOPE, KOUAME – ADJEI – ULIMWENGU, BOLINGI, TRAORE