Africa: Zesco See Off Sonidep, Mazembe Next Opponent

Zesco United coasted to a 3-0 home win over AS Sonidep of Niger on Tuesday at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola to advance to the 2018/2019 TOTAL CAF Champions Le1/16th round.

The Zambian champions qualify 5-1 on aggregate to also see them end their four-match winless run at home in continental competition since beating JKU of Zanzibar 7-0 at the same venue on February 21 in the 2018 edition of the tournament that saw them subsequently collect one defeat and three successive draws.

Kenyan international striker Jesse Were also ended his almost 20-month drought in the continental club championship dating back to May 2017, after netting a brace in the victory over Sonidep.

Were put Zesco ahead in the first minute when he headed in Burundi international midfielder Enock Sabumukama's cross and completed his brace in the 55th minute when he poked -in an assist from new boy Mwila Phiri.

Chipolopolo striker Lazarus Kambole continued his prolific form with Zesco's second in the 25th minute when he punished Sonidep for some poor defensive feedback in their backline.

The goal was Kambole's second of this campaign after scoring in the 2-1 first leg win away in Niamey on November 27.

Zesco now have a third round rendezvous with five-time champions and next door neighbours TP Mazembe of DR Congo.

They visit Mazembe on December 15 in the first leg before hosting the DR Congo giants in Ndola on December 22 to decide who goes through to the group stage.

Strangely, this will be Zesco and Mazembe's debut competitive meeting following regular reciprocal cross-border international club friendlies over the years.

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