Former champions TP Mazembe and Mamelodi Sundowns became the first sides to reach 2019-20 Total CAF Champions League quarterfinals after Match Day 4 of the mini league stage was concluded last weekend.
DR Congo giants Mazembe came back from behind to defeat Angolan visitors Primeiro de Agosto 2-1 and raise their Group A tally to 10 points to guarantee one of the two top spots and a place in the knockout stages. An identical result for Sundowns in Pretoria against USM Alger meant the South Africans will play in the quarterfinals yet again after topping Group C with 10 points too.
Tunisian duo Etoile du Sahel and holders Esperance look on the right way to join with two match days to go.
Five time champions TP Mazembe were the first side to grab their quarterfinals ticket, with a home 2-1 victory over Primeiro de Agosto. Despite falling behind early to Mabululu’s 8th minute opener, Les Corbeaux responded after the break and scored twice in nine minutes through Chico Ushindi and Jackson Muleka to grab their knockout stages ticket with two games to spare.
In Cairo, another five time champions and Egyptian giants Zamalek moved closer to qualification themselves with a 2-0 win over Zambia’s Zesco United. Achraf Bencharki and Mostafa Mohamed scored in each half to raise The White Knights tally to seven points in second place, three behind Mazembe.
As it stands
1. TP Mazembe – 10 points
2. Zamalek – 7 points
3. Zesco United – 2 points
3. Primeiro de Agosto – 2 points
25.01.2020 Ndola: Zesco – Primeiro de Agosto
25.01.2020 Cairo: Zamalek – TP Mazembe
Tunisian giants Etoile du Sahel made amends for their Day 3 home 1-0 defeat to Sudan’s Al Hilal, beating them in the reverse fixture in Omdurman 2-1. Hilal took an opening half lead via Waleed Bakhet that only lasted for five minutes before defender Omer Hassan scored in his own net. After the break Iheb Msakni scored the winner for Les Diables Rouges, as both sides finished the game with ten men. Hilal’s Nasr Eldin Omar was sent off after 77 minutes, while Etoile’s goalkeeper Makram Bdiri had the same fate deep into injury time.
Earlier in Bulawayo, record champions and Egypt’s giants Al Ahly salvaged a point from Zimbabwe’s Platinum with a disappointing 1-1 draw. Stanley Ngala broke the deadlock for the hosts in the first half, only for Marwan Mohsen to score the equalizer shortly after the recess. It was Platinum’s first group point to the dismay of Ahly faithful supporters who expected nothing but a win.
As it stands
1. Etoile du Sahel – 10 points
2. Al Ahly – 7 points
3. Al Hilal – 6 points
4. Platinum – 1 point
24.01.2020 Cairo: Al Ahly – Etoile du Sahel
25.01.2020 Bulawayo: Platinum – Al Hilal
South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns needed a home win against Algeria’s USM Alger to grab their knockout stages ticket, and that’s exactly what they did. The Brazilians took the lead in Pretoria via Thapelo Morena, and restored their lead in first half’s injury time via Sibusiso Vilakazi after Aymen Mahious cancelled their opener. The win raised the 2016 champions tally to 10 points to handle them an early qualification.
In Luanda, Angola’s Petro de Luanda were held at home by last season’s losing finalists Wydad Casablanca of Morocco. Kazadi Kasengu gave the visitors an early lead, but Petro finished the first half leading thanks to goals from Herenilson and Danny. Yahya Jabrane scored from the spot to ensure both sides a share of the spoils.
As it stands
1. Mamelodi Sundowns – 10 points
2. Wydad – 6 points
3. USM Alger – 2 points
4. Petro de Luanda – 2 points
24.01.2020 Casablanca: Wydad – USM Alger
25.01.2020 Luanda: Petro de Luanda – Mamelodi Sundowns
Holders Esperance of Tunisia are on the brink of yet another knockout stages place after a crucial away 2-0 victory over DR Congo’s AS Vita in Kinshasa. Fousseni Coulibaly and Hamdou El Houni scored in each half as Esperance need just a point from their remaining two games to go on with their title defense campaign, while Vita look all but eliminated with a lone point.
In Tizi Ouzou, it was all blanks between neighbors JS Kabylie of Algeria and Moroccan visitors Raja Casablanca. Raja remained in second place with seven points, three more than JSK.
As it stands
1. Esperance – 10 points
2. Raja – 7 points
3. JS Kabylie – 4 points
4. AS Vita – 1 point
25.01.2020 Kinshasa: AS Vita – JS Kabylie
25.01.2020 Rades: Esperance – Raja