TP Mazembe took a big step towards regaining the CAF Champions League title with a 2-1 first leg final win at USM Alger on Saturday.
Rainford Kalaba opened the scoring for Mazembe but was shown a red card in first-half added time.
USM Alger also had Hocine El Orfi sent off for two bookable offences early in the second half.
Mazembe, 2013 champions, had a great chance to double their lead but Mbwana Samatta was denied from the penalty spot by Mohamed Zemmamouche.
But when the referee awarded Mazembe another spot kick a few minutes later, Samatta made amends and beat the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Mohamed Seguer gave USM Alger hope by scoring a fine goal just before full-time.
The second leg will take place on Mazembe’s Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi, Congo DR, next Sunday.