ABU DHABI - TP Mazembe became the first
African team to reach the Club World Cup final with a shock 2-0
win over Internacional of Brazil on Tuesday.
Goals by Mulota Kabangu and Dioko Kaluyituka stunned the
South American champions as the team from DR Congo lived up to
their nickname Tout Puissant (all powerful) to reach a final
against Inter Milan of Italy or South Korea's Seongnam.
The African champions and their exuberant small band of fans
who had played their brass music throughout the match joined in
wild celebrations and dancing at the edge of the pitch.
"This win means a lot of things. All of Africa should be
proud of these players. They have an enormous heart," the team's
Senegalese coach Lamine N'Diaye said.
"After the opening 20 minutes Inter began to doubt. At
half-time, with the score 0-0 our chances were intact. I said to
the players the match was theirs for the taking, they had to go
and find it," he told the post-match news conference.
The win saw Mazembe become the first African team to beat a
South American side in the competition and a Brazilian side
beaten for the first time in 13 matches at the Club World Cup in
seven editions since it was started by FIFA in 2000.
Internacional coach Celso Roth said: "We had great
expectations of this World Cup and greater responsibility having
already won it once. It's a huge disappointment, we had chances,
we dominated a lot but we lost.
"Our problem continues to be that we dominate but can't
finish." Internacional won the trophy in Japan in 2006.
Kabangu put Mazembe ahead eight minutes into the second half
when he was allowed space to take a headed pass and volley
inside the far post past a static Renan.
Speedy winger Kaluyituka made the win safe for Mazembe five
minutes from time when he turned a defender twice on the left
before placing a low shot between the diving Renan and the near
Inter dominated the first half but were left to rue a string
of missed chances, the best coming when keeper Muteba Kidiaba
saved point blank from striker Rafael Sobis.
After the interval the impressive Kidiaba, who had led a
prayer before kick-off with his team-mates kneeling on his
goal-line, was on hand again to save again from Sobis.
Substitute Guiliano, who scored crucial goals in
Internacional's Libertadores Cup campaign, looked to have made
the breakthrough in the 70th minute only for his low shot to be
turned away by the diving Kidiaba.
Tiring Argentine playmaker Andres D'Alessandro opted too
often in the second half to play high balls into the box as
Mazembe packed their defence and inched toward victory.
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