The second leg clash between African champions TP Mazembe and Ethiopian champions Saint George will be played on March 20 at Stade TP Mazembe. The first leg match ended with a 2-2 draw in Bahir Dar last weekend.
The exhilarating first leg match started with the hosts scoring in the 11th minute. Behailu Assefa a.k.a. Tusa was on the score sheet after his brilliant shot from 30 meters found the back of the net in the first quarter of the first half. Nathnael Zeleke and attacking midfielder Behailu dominated the field throughout the first half with slick passing football. However, in the final minutes of the first half, TP Mazembe’s Ghanaian striker Daniel Adjei equalized for the visitors.
Immediately after the start of the second half – to the dismay of the Horsemen – a 46th minute own goal by defender Aschalew Tamene had the visitors lead for the first time. Later on, after 13 minutes, the Horsemen equalized after Behailu’s free kick was slotted in by team captain Adane Girma from close range .
Over 60 thousands of fans cheered Behailu’s performance of the day. He scored one goal and assisted the second. He also missed a chance that might be give earned his team all three points.
“It was a good match. We have tried to use our home-ground advantage but a slight error cost us three points,” Behailu stated.
Coach of the Horsemen, Martin Nooij, said that the result could have been better but a draw is also not bad.
“We played a very good game. TP Mazembe hit as just before half time and immediately after the start of the second half. However, our players played better,” Nooij told The Reporter.
“We will be prepared for the Lubumbashi match and will give them a hard time,” he added.
Hubert Velud, coach of TP Mazembe, on his part said: “It was a very good game on both sides. Saint George took advantage of the few opportunities they had. They construct their game very well; they’re a very interesting team.”
“From our perspective, it was a good match in the sense that we managed to score twice away, which puts us in a good position for the return leg,” he added.
The Horsemen have now traveled to Lubumbashi, DR Congo on Thursday for tomorrow return match against the African giants. The winner will face Wydad Casblanca of Morocco or CNaPS FC from Madagascar, if CNaPs manage to turn things around after their humiliating 5-1 defeat in the first leg.