Mazembe the new African club giant
Mazembe became the first African nation to reach the Final of the Club World Cup, beating Internacional 2-0 in the semi-final with a great footballing attitude in Abu Dhabi inside Mohammad Zayed Stadium. (Photo: Mulota Kubangu in celebration)
Thanks to two goals from Mulota Kubangu and Dioko Kaluyituka secured arguably the greatest ever win by an African club, humbling the Brazilian giants and leaving these Congolese underdogs just 90 minutes from becoming world champions.
Up to half-time no goal from either side; however TP Mazembe Englebert finally produced the biggest shock in the history of the FIFA Club World Cup.
It looked like Internacional will grab the headlines in the first half of play, as they created numerous chances, many of which were wasted. Tinga caused havoc across the pitch, spreading balls and adding urgency in sweltering conditions.
The Brazilian side looked to reply soon after the restart when D’Alessandro found his range; his inch perfect cross was header past the post by a matter of centimetres by ex-Betis star Rafael Sobis. The chance had manager Celso Roth holding his hands to his head in anguish; he thought his side had levelled.
The coach took the same stance seconds later, but this time his side was denied by an incredible save from Muteba Kidiaba. The substitute Giuliano arrived in the box and was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, Kidiaba flung himself down low to his left and succeeded in parrying the ball away brilliantly.
Not to be outdone, the Inter goalkeeper answered Kidiaba with an equally impressive say. A free-kick in a dangerous position led to Kabangu in search of his second goal, and the set-piece was taken well flying into the top corner after some vicious dip, but the fingertips of Renan prevented the African outfit from extending their lead.
With the Brazilians throwing men forward Mazembe were able to attack with menace, doubling their advantage in the 85th minute. Kaluyituka picked the ball up wide on the left hand side, cut on to his right foot and hit a pile driver into the net. Renan was at a standstill for the second time in the night as the Mazembe fans were celebrating wildly in the stands.
Mazembe now go on to face the winner of tomorrow’s second semi-final between Inter Milan and Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, while Internacional will have to make do with battling for bronze against the losers.
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