Veteran midfielder Tresor Mputu provided two assists as ten-man TP Mazembe beat Ismaily 2-0 on Saturday in their Group C clash in Lubumbashi.
Substitute Chico Ushindo and lanky defender Kevin Mondeko each scored late in the game to give ‘Les Corbeaux’ a perfect start to their campaign.
The five-time winners played the entire second half a man less after goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo was sent off for a foul on Ismaily forward Benson Shilongo. The host were forced to take out Abdoulaye Sisoko for second choice goalie, Aime Bakula.
After a balanced first half, the numerical disadvantage affected the play of the DR Congo giants upon resumption, as Ismaily, the first Egyptian side to win the premier continental club championship exactly 50 years ago, dictated the pace.
With the game almost heading for a stalemate, 33-year old Mputu proved that he still has a lot to offer by assisting both goals which eventually sealed victory.
On 83 minutes, Mputu laid a cross which met the head of Ushindo for the opener, his first touch of the ball, moments after Jackson Muleka.
Two minutes later, towering defender soared above his markers to head home Mputu’s cross from the right to snatch victory.
Mazembe share top spot of Group C with Algeria’s CS Constantine, who beat Club Africain 1-0 away from home on Friday in Sousse.