SuperSport United rescue draw vs. Club Africain, TP Mazembe win
Thabo Mnyamane struck a late equaliser for SuperSport United as they drew 1-1 with Club Africain in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup semi final on Saturday, while Ben Malango scored the only goal of the game as Tout Puissant Mazembe beat FUS Rabat in Lubumbashi.
Tunisia international Saber Khalifa gave the visitors the lead at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium after coolly converting a 21st-minute penalty when Morgan Gould was adjudged - controversially - to have handled in the box.
However, United grew in stature, before Mnyamane netted three minutes from time when he beat Atef Dkhili from the penalty spot after Thuso Phala's strike was handled by a visiting defender.
SSU, who eliminated ZESCO United in the quarter finals following a 2-2 draw in Ndola, found themselves on the back foot early on as the North Africans sought to take the initiative in the contest.
Indeed, Club Africain skipper Khalifa could have given the visitors the lead early on, only to fire his effort over the bar, while Bradley Grobler could have also done better when his finishing let him down during the opening stages.
Jeremy Brockie was guilty of missing several chances before Khalifa fired the Tunisians into the lead when the referee awarded a penalty after Dean Furman's clearance rebounded off Gould's chest and onto his hand.
As the second half wore on, United took a firm control on the contest as they sought an equaliser, but a combination of poor finishing and resolute Tunisian defending looked set to ensure first-leg disappointment, particularly when substitute Mnyamane had a 79th-minute effort saved by Dkhili.
However, Mnyamane made amends in the 87th minute when he stepped up to beat the visiting goalkeeper from the spot after another handball call.
The two sides will result hostilities in Rades on October 20.
At the Stade TP Mazembe in the other semi final, FUS Rabat may could themselves fortunate to have escaped with just a 1-0 loss after being thoroughly outplayed by their Congolese hosts.
Malango opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he capitalised on an error in the visiting defence as they failed to deal with Issama Mpeko's long ball forward, and struck home a right-footed effort.
However, Mazembe dominated the contest, only to be denied on numerous occasions by Aymane Majid in the Rabat goal.
The youngster was on hand to keep Rabat in the contest, with Meschack Elia and Solomon Asante just two Corbeaux to have been thwarted by the 22-year-old.
The outstanding Malango was replaced through injury, and it remains to be seen whether he will be back in time for the return leg in Morocco later in the month.