Ivorian Roger Assale was the hero scoring a spectacular goal in the second half to send Mazembe top of the group on eight points, three more than Moghreb Tetouan of Morocco and Sudanese side, El Hilal. Debutants Smouha, which suffered their third successive loss at the last eight stay at the bottom with three points.
‘Les Corbeaux’ who have endured a win-less home run since a 2-1 victory over Stade Malien of Mali three months ago during the 1/8th round stage, got off well but found the visitors backline hard to penetrate.
Smouha, 2-0 losers in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, sat deep allowing the Congolese to dominate possession whilst relying on the counter.
Twice in the first half, Smouha goalie Mahdy Soliman pulled two superb saves to deny the host the lead. He flicked out Daniel Nii Adjei’s shot from a free-kick at the edge of the penalty area in the opening minutes before denying Malian Adama Traore, parrying his goal bound shot of danger.
Mazembe continued to press for the opener and finally succeeded eight minutes after the break through Assale following three corners in succession. A headed clearance by Smouha defender Yasser Ibrahim fell to the Ivorian, who delivered a spectacular half volley that left Soliman with no option.
Zambia midfielder Nathan Sinkala made a rare appearance in the second half, his first competitive outing since January. The 24-year old sustained an injury during Zambia’s opening match at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations against DR Congo in Ebebiyin, Equatorial Guinea.
He barely made an impact but Frenchman Patrice Carteron can now afford a smile after guiding Mazembeto their first home win as many matches.
7.8.2015 21H15 El Hilal (Sudan) 0-1 Moghreb Tetouan (Morocco)
8.8.2015 15H30 TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 1-0 Smouha (Egypt)
7.8.2015 21H15 MC Eulma (Algeria) 0-1 USM Alger (Algeria)
9.8.2015 22H00 El Merreikh (Sudan) vs ES Setif (Algeria)
*All times are in local time