TP Mazembe end Royal AM's debut CAF campaign

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 09: Tshepo Rikhotso of Royal AM and Zao Matutala of TP Mazembe during the CAF Confederation Cup play-offs, leg 2 match between Royal AM and TP Mazembe at Moses Mabidha Stadium on November 09, 2022 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 09: Tshepo Rikhotso of Royal AM and Zao Matutala of TP Mazembe during the CAF Confederation Cup play-offs, leg 2 match between Royal AM and TP Mazembe at Moses Mabidha Stadium on November 09, 2022 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

Royal AM were unable to progress to the CAF Confederation Cup group stage after a 1-0 loss to TP Mazembe in the second leg of the play-offs on Wednesday evening.

Prior to losing the first-leg 2-0 in Lubumbashi a week ago, Thwihli Thwahla had booked their spot at this stage by edging past Zesco United on away goal rule after a 1-1 draw.

Mazembe meanwhile had dropped down a tier after losing out to Ugandan side Vipers in the Champions League on penalties following a goalless draw on aggregate. 

Royal AM showed urgency in the early stages as they put Mazembe under pressure, with threatening corner-kicks.

Read: Gallants secure CAF Confed Cup group stage spot

The Ravens mostly absorbed the pressure and waited for chances on counter-attacks and Thwihli Thwahla found an opening ten minutes before the interval but goalkeeper Baggio Siadi made a double save to keep the home side at bay.

The Congelese giants eventually took their chance on a counter-attack shortly before the interval after Adam Bossu got past two defenders in the centre from a pass by Kevin Mondeko, broke the deadlock with a strike in the box and made it 3-0 on aggregate with a precious away goal.

Mazembe were hard to break down in the early stages of the second stanza as they contained AM and had a good chance 11 minutes in after Serge Mukoko went through on goal from a counter-attack but he rushed his shot and missed the target.

Pamphile Mihayo's charges continued to frustrate Thwihli Thwahla after the hour-mark, as Siadi was well protected by a resolute defence.

AM's hopes of a comeback were fading in the closing stages, as Mazembe looked more threatening on counter-attacks and they had no response going forward, as they eventually succumbed to a 3-0 loss on aggregate.

The Ravens comfortable booked their spot in the group stages in the end, with President Moise Katumbi in attendance at Moses Mabhida Stadium. 

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