asec finally hit straps

Asec Abidjan and TP Mazembe Englebert won their first games in the group phase of the African Champions League on Sunday to open up the race for semifinal places.

Asec Abidjan and TP Mazembe Englebert won their first games in the group phase of the African Champions League on Sunday to open up the race for semifinal places.

Ivory Coast's Asec swept to a 3-0 win over five-time winners Zamalek of Egypt, just hours after the Democratic Republic of Congo side Mazembe beat Nigeria's Enyimba by the same scoreline in Lubumbashi.

Both teams propelled themselves right back in contention for a final four place with their first wins after four rounds of the competition.

Moussa Guindo set Asec on their way to a comprehensive triumph and up into second place in the Group A standings with the opening goal against the Cairo club.

Substitute Valy Sinali Bamba doubled the lead in the 68th minute and Antoine Gossan Gossan added the third from the penalty spot with 10 minutes remaining.

The result left group leaders Al Ahli of Egypt just one point away from claiming a semifinal berth. The Egyptian giants, who beat Dynamos of Zimbabwe 1-0 away in Harare on Saturday, lead with 10 points, five more than Asec.

Zamalek and Dynamos are also still alive despite their weekend setbacks.

Mazembe remain bottom of the Group B standings despite their win, but a mere three points behind leaders Coton Sport of Cameroon.

Tresor Mputu, last year's leading goal scorer in the competition, finally got his first goal of this campaign, converting a second-half penalty.

Mazembe had been 1-0 up at half time after Luyeye Mvete had opened the scoring in the 18th minute.

Their third goal came in the 79th minute from Patou Kabangu.

There are two more rounds of matches to be played with the top two finishers proceeding to the semifinals.

The next round of matches will be played on the weekend of September 12-14. - Reuters

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