John Bakata scored a 95th-minute goal at the TP Mazembe Stadium in Lubumbashi to finally give the hosts a reward for their dominance of the match.
RS Berkane have the return leg in a week to look forward to overturning the deficit and strive to book their place in this season’s CAF Confederations Cup final.
TP Mazembe dominate RS Berkane in CAF Confederations semifinal
Fresh off seeing off Pyramids FC in the quarter-finals, TP Mazembe sought to continue their good six-match unbeaten run on the continent when RS Berkane came visiting.
The Congolese giants dominated the match from start to finish, racking up 67% possession in front of their home fans.
An incredible 26 shots against the Moroccans should have birthed more goals but Mazembe found Berkane goalkeeper Hamza Akbi in good form with the 28-year-old shot-stopper making six (6) saves, two (2) punches, two (2) high claims, and two (2) clearances.
Mazembe also had their profligate finishing to blame for not scoring more goals as the Congolese fired 13 shots off target during the 90 minutes in Lubumbashi.
Mazembe’s French coach Frank Dumas threw on John Bakata as his last toss of the dice in the 88th minute to replace forward Phillipes Kinzumbi as Berkane threatened to run away with an impressive clean sheet.
Bakata ensure TP Mazembe continue unbeaten run
However, seven minutes after coming on Bakata latched on to fellow substitute Glody Likonza’s pass to finally beat Akbi in the Berkane goal.
Bakata’s ecstatic jubilations earned him a yellow card but the South African player would not mind much after giving his side the much-deserved lead.
It was Bakata’s first goal in the CAF Confederations Cup this season too, having failed to score in his previous three matches where he has featured as a substitute also.
TP Mazembe have now lost only one game in the CAF Confederations Cup this season, a 2-0 reverse at home to Al Masry on Matchday 2.
Since then, they have won four (4) matches and drawn three (3), keeping five (5) clean sheets along the way.
The Congolese giants will travel to Stade Municipal de Berkane on Sunday, May 15 to try to complete the job with a place in the CAF Confederations Cup final on the line.