TP Mazembe held MC Alger to a 1-1 draw away on Saturday in Blida, joining Tunisian duo Etoile du Sahel and Esperance at the knockout stage.
The stalemate was enough to land ‘Les Corbeaux’ a place at the last eight, after going five points clear of Group B with two games remaining. Striker Meschak Elia capitalised on a misunderstanding between MC Alger goalie Farid Chaal and defender Zidane Mebarakou to open the score three minutes after the break. Walid Derrardja salvaged a point for the host on 70 minutes with a header from a set piece.
The other Group B match earlier played on Friday between Difaa El Jadidi and ES Setif in the Moroccan city of El Jadidi also ended one-all. Tanzanian Simon Msuva gave the host the lead on 23 minutes before Habib Bougouelmouna restored parity nine minutes later.
In Group C, holders Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco maintained their unbeaten run with a 2-0 win over Guinea champions Horoya in Casablanca. Ivorian Cheick Comara headed homers into the lead on 12 minutes before back from injury Mohammed Ounnajem added the second six minutes later.
Elsewhere in Pretoria, 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa squeezed past Togolese debutants AS Port 2-1 to bounce back into contention. First half goals from Uruguayan Gaston Sirino and Sibusiso Vilakazi gave the Brazilians a two goal lead which halved substitute Kokou Kloukpo in the closing stages.
Esperance moved five points clear at the top of Group A courtesy a lone goal victory over Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) of Uganda away in Kampala. Haithem Jouini’s 41st minute strike separated the two sides.
Record eight time winners, Al Ahly of Egypt also boosted their chances with a 1-0 win over Township Rollers of Botswana away from home in Botswana. New boy Salif Coulibaly repaid the confidence reposed in him by coach Patrice Carteron with the only goal nine minutes from time.
Earlier on Friday, Etoile du Sahel became the first team to reach the quarters after a 2-0 win over Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland in Sousse. Maher Hannachi and Slim Ben Belgacem scored in either half to secure victory for ‘Les Diables Rouges’ in the Group D encounter.
Zambian torchbearers Zesco are in danger of missing out on the knockout stage after Primeiro de Agosto of Angola came from behind to beat them 2-1 in Luanda. Zesco were cruising to victory after John Chingandu had given them the opener after the hour mark. But Agosto were not done. Substitute Geraldo drew level in stoppage time before defender Muselenge Ungenda headed home the winner in added-on time to cap a dramatic comeback.
The competition enters Day Five in two weeks with matches billed for 17 and 18 August.
Match report by Caf Online