Vipers Eject TP Mazembe to Qualify for CAF Champs League Group Stage

Vipers Football Club has qualified for the Total Energies CAF Champions League group stages after eliminating former Champions TP Mazembe. This is Vipers’ first-ever qualification for the lucrative group stages and only the second Ugandan team after KCCA FC which qualified in 2018.

After failing to capitalize on their home advantage a week ago in the first leg of the fixture that ended 0-0, Vipers’ chances of eliminating the five-times African Champions appeared to diminish. However, they put up a valiant battle at the Stade TP Mazembe on a Saturday evening, to deny the hosts any chance of scoring against them.

Vipers took a more defensive approach in the game, employing nearly five defenders and two defensive midfielders to reduce the possibility of allowing a goal, a strategy which paid off when the game ended in a goalless draw.

The game didn’t have open chances from the start until the 17th minute when Milton Karisa failed to convert an opportunity created by striker Yunus Sentamu before Abdu Lumala’s shot also hit the bar before halftime.  

In the second half Mazembe came close to finding their first goal through Reinford Kalaba, but, the Vipers custodian was equal to the challenge to save his team from conceding a late goal.  

The match subsequently went into penalties that ended 4-3 in favour of Vipers. Bright Anukani, Dissan Galiwango, Ashraf Mandela and Olivier Osomba all converted their penalties while Tandi Mwape and Glody Likonza missed theirs on TP Mazembe’s side.   

Vipers midfielder Bright Anukani was the first to score before Mazembe’s Ernest Luzolo levelled the score. Defender Disan Galiwango scored the second penalty for Vipers but Mazembe’s second shooter Glody Likonza put his shot wide.  

Defender Ashraf Mandela scored the third penalty before TP Mazembe also pulled one back through Issama Mpeko, and finally, Oliviera Osomba scored the fourth goal for Vipers which left TP Mazembe with no chance whatsoever.    

While Vipers qualify for the Total Energies CAF Champions League group stages, TP Mazembe will drop to the CAF Confederation Cup playoff round. At least USD 550,000 is available for every team that qualifies for the group stage of the CAF Champions League 

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