x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Last-gasp goal sinks 10-man Mazembe

An injury-time goal from Riki van Steeden broke African hearts as Oceania champions Auckland City beat 10-man TP Mazembe 3-2 at Zayed Sports City.

ABU DHABI // An injury-time goal from Riki van Steeden broke African hearts last night as Oceania champions Auckland City beat 10-man TP Mazembe 3-2 at Zayed Sports City. Paul Posa's plucky amateurs rode their luck against the spirited African champions, and in the end it was the New Zealanders who sealed fifth spot in the Club World Cup courtesy of a Jason Hayne brace and van Steeden's late winner.

The Democratic Republic of Congo side suffered a 24th-minute setback when their goalkeeper Muteba Kidiaba was shown a straight red card for handling outside his area. Hayne's opener came just five minutes later and looked to have set the Kiwis on their way, but Mazembe hit back in the second-half. Ngandu Kasongo's left-foot rocket brought them level, before Tresor Mputu's deft back-heel was smashed into the roof of the net by Kilitcho Kasusula. From there, only one team looked likely to win. But Auckland dug deep for a stunning victory.

"When we were 2-1 down I still thought we had a chance," said Posa. "I thought it would go to penalties when we equalised but we had a good game and delivered performance-wise. "I'm not surprised, the character the team has shown in the last 12 months has been nothing short of outstanding." Despite finishing sixth, Mazembe coach Diego Garzitto had no regrets and promised more from his side in the future. "The referee had no choice but to send Kidiaba off," said Garzitto. "We then lost a stupid goal which forced us to chase the game. We did everything we could and the team, which only had 10 men for most the game, didn't play that badly.

"It was important we came here, we have learned lots of things and hope to come back stronger after defending our African title next year." emegson@thenational.ae