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Zesco down Sundowns in Africa CL semi

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Zesco United players line up before a past match
Zesco United players line up before a past match

NDOLA, Zambia, Sep 17 – Jackson Mwanza scored twice within three minutes to give Zesco United of Zambia a 2-1 first-leg victory over Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa Saturday in a CAF Champions League semi-final.

Zesco, home to Kenyan trio of defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino, midfielder Anthony Akumu and forward Jesse Were, dominated the match and deserved to win by a wider margin in only the second Champions League semi-final between southern Africa clubs.

Democratic Republic of Congo-born Idris Mbombo wasted a great chance to give United a three-goal advantage four minutes from time when his weak close-range shot was comfortably saved.

Sundowns immediately counter-attacked and unmarked Zimbabwean Khama Billiat controlled a cross and scored with a low shot from inside the box that went in off a post.

Mwanza, who had scored twice in the premier African club competition this season, doubled his total with goals after 54 and 56 minutes at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

He opened the scoring with a glancing header past Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango into the far corner of the net.

And the 29-year-old then got the slightest of touches to a low Mwape Mwelwa free-kick, deflecting the ball wide of Onyango to sent the crowd into raptures.

Sundowns are seeking a second final appearance after finishing runners-up to Al Ahly of Egypt in 2001 while ZESCO are playing in the semi-finals for the first time.

The return match is scheduled for Atteridgeville near Pretoria next Saturday with the overall winners likely to meet five-time champions Zamalek of Egypt in the two-leg final during October.

A wonder goal from Shikabala set Zamalek up for a 4-0 triumph over Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in Alexandria Friday.

Wales-born Wydad coach John Toshack, the former Liverpool striker and Real Madrid manager, was sacked Saturday along with several of his staff.

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