TP Mazembe beat SuperSport United to retain CAF Confederation Cup crown
The quality and experience of TP Mazembe was evident in the CAF Confederation Cup final on Saturday as they outplayed and out-thought SuperSport United to retain the title.
A goalless draw in the second leg at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, on the outskirts of South Africa's capital Pretoria, meant a 2-1 victory on aggregate after success in last Sunday's first leg at home.
It is Mazembe's third successive continental title after the 2015 CAF Champions League title and the Confederation Cup last year.
Two red cards and a post-match crowd invasion soured a successful evening for the Lubumbashi giants, who have now won 15 African cups overall.
There were two excellent chances inside the opening 15 minutes for Mazembe to extend their aggregate lead and effectively finish off the tie early as the rain poured down for most of the match.
Mazembe were expected to sit back and defend their precarious lead but surprised their hosts with an attacking start.
Rainford Kalaba should have extended their aggregate lead after just 10 minutes as he sprung the offside trap but blasted wildly over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Then only four minutes later the captain turned provider and set up Daniel Adjei, who needed only slip the ball home but somehow managed to miss.
Had those two chances been taken, the tie would have been over with some 75 minutes still to play but instead those misses offered SuperSport a window to get back in the game.
The hosts had plenty of possession in the first half and put the ball in the net but Tefu Mashamaite was correctly flagged offside as he guided the ball in from close range just past the half-hour mark.
After the break, SuperSport pressed forward but were consistently let down by their final pas and inability to win the second ball. They also met a determined defensive wall as Mazembe defended tigerishly, with their experienced backline holding firm.
SuperSport, playing in their first continental cup final, managed just one shot on goal from Dove Wome that Sylvain Gbohou in the Mazembe goal dealt with comfortably.
Mazembe cleverly wasted time and took SuperSport off their rhythm in the end but lost defender Chongo Kabaso to a second yellow card with eight minutes left in the game.
The niggly finish meant players began to lose their heads and a studs-up tackle on just before full-time saw Thuso Phala of SuperSport also dismissed.
In the end, the home side were desperately attacking but ran out of time as Mazembe showed their quality with a clean sheet.