Vipers Have It All To Play For After TP Mazembe Draw

Sunday, October 9
*Vipers (Uganda) 0-0 TP Mazembe (DR Congo)


Vipers played out a goalless draw with TP Mazembe in their first leg tie of the CAF Champions League second preliminary round.

But it’s now work cut out for the Venoms to upset the odds in the second leg in Lubumbashi to reach the lucrative group stages for the first time in history.

TP Mazembe, cheered on by a sizeable crowd, were the dominant side as they overun Vipers in the middle of the park led by Zemanga Soze.

Vipers struggled to match the athleticism, energy and size of TP Mazembe in a game they barely created a chance.

But they defended solidly while their goalkeeper pulled off a wonderful save in closing stages to keep the scores level.

Goalkeeper Alfred Mudekereza denied TP Mazembe’s substitute Mesach Masengo who had gone for power just outside the box.

At least goal-draw in the second leg at the home of a five-time Champions will send Vipers to group stages of the CAF Champions League for the first time in history.

While a loss will see the side drop down to CAF Confederation Cup playoff round.

Huge Mountain Awaits of Vipers

It was always going to be a tall order for Vipers to overcome TP Mazembe over two legs, but their biggest chance relied on capitalising on home first leg to take early advantage.

They will visit Lubumbashi needing to score at least, to have a chance. But that doesn’t seem to be within their reach if we are to judge by events at Kitende.

They lacked organisation and patience to build plays going forward and rarely troubled Mazembe defence.

Playing the duo of Siraje Ssentamu and Olivier Osomba left a creative forward, while Lumala and Milton Karisa failed to drive the team to areas that could hurt Mazembe.

Their best chance came in the second half when Karisa was teed up, but Kevin Mondeko Zatu made a last ditch tackle to clear for a corner.

Yunus Sentamu almost broke the deadlock earlier when he went in the air to meet Isa Mubiru’s cross, but he skewed his header wide.

And they looked a threat during set pieces, but couldn’t benefit from a few moments they had.

This was like Vipers best chance to beat TP Mazembe, who is without four players Phillipe Kinzumbi, Christian Kouame and Zambian duo of Tandi Mwape and Kabaso Chongo who were banned by CAF due to semifinal clash against Berkane on CAF Confederation Cup last season.

But Vipers will bank on the fact that TP Mazembe failed to make it to the CAF Champions League groups last season when they were knocked out by Amazulu, with the first leg in South Africa coincidentally ending 0-0 before a 1-1 draw in Lubumbashi.

There is still chance, there is still hope, just.

Starting Lineups

Vipers XI – Alfred Mudekereza, Isa Mubiru, Ashraf Mandela, Livingstone Mulondo, Murushid Juuko, Siraje Ssentamu, Olivier Osomba, Najib Yiga, Lumala Abdu, Yunus Sentamu, Milton Karisa

TP Mazembe XI – Ibrahim Bosso, Issama Djos, Wilfred Nkaya, Merceil Vumbi, Bato Ngalamulume, Augustine Oladipo, Soze Zemanga, Ernest Nsita, Kalonji Ntambwe, Jepht Kitambala, Kevin Zatu

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