Setif stun Mazembe in Champions League semi-final

Abdelmalik Ziaya
Abdelmalik Ziaya

A late individual goal from Abdelmalek Ziaya helped Algerian club Entente Setif win 2-1 against Congolese side TP Mazembe in their African Champions League semi-final first leg.

Ziaya's goal came on 89 minutes and gave the home club victory in a match which was seemingly destined to end in a draw.

Receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area with his back to goal, Ziaya turned Mazembe defender Chongo Kabaso and struck the ball past veteran goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba into the net.

The goal earned Setif a first win over Mazembe in five Champions League and second-tier Confederation Cup matches in five years.

Mazembe will regret not making the most of their good start.

The Congolese went ahead soon after half-time when Algerian defender Said Arroussi deflected a low Rainford Kalaba cross past goalkeeper Abdelwahab Khedairia.

Setif levelled three minutes later as 38-year-old Kidiaba allowed a Sofiene Younes header - off a Sid Ali Lamri cross - to slip over the goal-line.

Zambia star Kalaba wasted several stoppage-time chances to create an equaliser when he crossed poorly and over-hit a free-kick.

The match was played behind closed doors on the orders of the Confederation of African Football (Caf). Spectators were barred because of their behaviour during previous home matches.

Despite Setif's win, four-time African champions Mazembe host the return match in the Democratic Republic of Congo mining city of Lubumbashi next Sunday, and they remain favourites to reach the final.

The other semi-final produced an identical scoreline to Setif as a second Congolese club, Vita, used home advantage to build a slender advantage over Tunisians CS Sfaxien.

Leading Vita scorer Firmin Ndombe Mubele ended a 557-minute Champions League goal drought with the only goal of the opening half.

Luvumbu Nzinga doubled the lead nine minutes after half-time at Stade Tata Raphael with his first goal of the Caf campaign.

But Ali Maaloul halved the deficit with a goal that leaves Sfaxien in a similar situation to Mazembe - 1-0 home wins next weekend will secure final places.

In contrast to the eerie emptiness of Setif, the 35,000-capacity Kinshasa stadium was packed, creating a vibrant atmosphere.

Sfaxien and Mazembe clashed in the final of the second-tier Caf Confederation Cup last season with a late second-leg goal giving the Tunisians a 3-2 overall victory.