ALGIERS, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Goals from Rainford Kalaba and Mbwana Samatta ensured a 2-1 away win for TP Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo over USM Alger in the first leg of the African Champions League final.
Mazembe played the second half with 10 men but might have won by a bigger margin had it not been for the heroics of home goalkeeper Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche.
Kalaba produced a stunning goal in the 27th minute and was then sent off for a dangerous challenge on the stroke of halftime.
Mazembe won a penalty on the hour but Nathan Sinkala’s effort was saved.
Hocine El Orfi was then booked for a second time as Alger were also reduced to 10 men.
Mazembe were given another penalty with 13 minutes to go and this time it was safely dispatched by Samatta whose goal-scoring exploits have been the catalyst in his team’s bid for a fifth African title.
Second-half substitute Mohamed Seguer pulled a goal back for the hosts with three minutes remaining to give Alger an outside chance in the return leg in Lubumbashi next Sunday as they attempt to win their first continental title. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Tony Jimenez; firstname.lastname@example.org; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)