TP Mazembe lose Club World Cup quarterfinal in Japan
The African champions, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, lost their Fifa Club World Cup quarterfinal 3-0 to Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Osaka on Sunday.
Mazembe, Club World Cup finalists five years ago, dominated the Japanese champions for long periods but lacked a killer touch.
Defender Tsukasa Shiotani, who scored in the 2-0 win over Auckland City on Thursday, poked home a Yusuke Chajima corner to give Hiroshima the lead just before halftime.
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“There seemed to be a big difference in motivation, we didn’t have any intensity…I have to accept that we didn’t prepare well enough”
Centre-back Kazuhiko Chiba headed in a second goal 11 minutes after the break to put the newly crowned J-League champions firmly in control before substitute Takuma Asano added a third.
Mazembe had their chances but failed to make the most of their opportunities.
Mbwana Samatta got clean away from the defence early on but dallied over his shot and gave Chiba time to scramble back and tackle.
Mazembe were again lively after halftime and substitute Thomas Ulimwengu fired a low shot just wide after breaking from inside his own half.
TP Mazembe coach Patrice Carteron said his players appeared to be lethargic after a recent marathon of games at club and international level.
“We didn’t have enough time to prepare as seriously as possibly we needed to,” said the Frenchman, who on the eve of the match had spoken with pride of the responsibility of carrying African hopes.
“There seemed to be a big difference in motivation, we didn’t have any intensity. I don’t want to blame my players, that is too easy an excuse, or the time difference or the weather conditions. I have to accept that we didn’t prepare well enough,” added Carteron.
It ends the Congolese club’s hopes of emulating or even bettering their performance from five years ago when they eliminated Brazilian side Internacional to reach the final where they lost to Rafael Benitez’s Inter Milan.
TP Mazembe will now need to regroup ahead of the match for fifth place against Mexico’s Club America on Wednesday.
Earlier on Sunday, Club America lost their quarterfinal 2-1 to China’s Guangzhou Evergrande who will now face Barcelona in the semifinal on Thursday.
Mazembe’s conquerors Sanfrecce Hiroshima will now face Argentina’s Libertadores Cup holders River Plate in their semifinal.
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