Ethiopian torchbearer’s Saint George were dominant but came short of winning against holders TP Mazembe as both sides settled for a 2-2 draw in their 1/16th round first leg clash at a packed Bahir Dar Stadium on Sunday.
The host were the dominant force in the opening minutes mounting pressure on the visitors from the onset.
The ‘Horsemen’ as the Ethiopians are nicknamed took a surprising lead just 11 minutes into the game through winger Behailu Assefa whose long range effort found the back of the net against the run of play.
TP Mazembe barely troubled the host goalie Uganda-import Robert Odongkara, but managed to equalize on the stroke of half time through Ghanaian Daniel Nii Adjei. Jonathan Bolingi set up Adjei who fired past Odongkara inside the area to restore parity before the interval.
The away goal seemingly gave Mazembe a motivation and they struck again minute after the break. Ethiopian international Asechalew Tamene headed into his own net from Adama Traore’s cross to silence the boisterous crowd.
Veteran striker Adane Girma pulled his side level with a slight flick in the 59th minute following Assefa’s delivery from the left flank.
The homers came close a couple of times but their effort was futile. Girma set up Assefa on 74 minutes but the latter’s shot went wide.
On the other side, Ivorian Roger Assale and Traore saw their goal bound efforts denied by the bravery of Odongkara.
The second leg will take place next weekend in Lubumbashi.
Zerihun Shengeta (Assistant Coach, Saint George)
It was a good game. Lack of concentration and some unnecessary mistakes cost us.
We played really well and could have emerged victorious. However, I have to give credit to the boys for their stupendous performance. We are not upset with the result. We have seen our weakness from the game. We will be looking forward to the return leg.
Hubert Velud (Head Coach, TP Mazembe)
I enjoyed the duel as both teams played an excellent football. I expected a game full of competition and the game turned out to be a very competitive one. We had our chances so was Saint George. I am content with the result. I am only disappointed that we conceded two goals. The game taught us that Saint George is a very good side and we should respect them. Hence, expect us to prepare in the best possible way for the return leg.
Saturday, 12 March 2016
Sundowns (South Africa) 2-0 AC Leopards (Congo)
Stade Malien (Mali) 2-0 Coton Sport (Cameroon)
Zesco United (Zambia) 4-1 Horoya (Guinea)
APR (Rwanda) 1-2 Young Africans (Tanzania)
Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa) 0-1 ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire)
Club Africain (Tunisia) 1-0 MO Bejaia (Algeria)
Wydad (Morocco) 5-1 CNaPS (Madagascar)
Ahly Tripoli (Libya) 1-0 El Hilal (Sudan)
Recreativo do Libolo (Angola) 0-0 Ahly (Egypt)
Sunday, 13 March 2016
AS Vita (DR Congo) 1-0 Ferroviaro (Mozambique)
Warri Wolves (Nigeria) 0-1 El Merreikh (Sudan)
Etoile du Congo (Congo) 1-1 ES Setif (Algeria)
St George (Ethiopia) 2-2 TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
Enyimba (Nigeria) 5-1 Vital’O (Burundi)
OC Khouribga (Morocco) 1-1 Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)
Union Douala (Cameroon) 0-1 Zamalek (Egypt)