Only one Caf Champions League group is yet to send a team to the quarter-final stage
Al Ahly stormed to the top of the Caf Champions League Group B following a 1-0 win over Etoile du Sahel in Cairo.
Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi’s first-half strike separated the two sides to help Al Ahly jump from third spot to the top of the group.
The Egyptian giants are now on 10 points and just one above second-placed Al Hilal who won away at FC Platinum on Saturday.
The result saw Etoile slide move down to third spot but they have the same number of points as Al Hilal, making the quarter-final bid in this group intriguing.
Group B remain the only one with no team in the last eight yet, and matters will be decided on the last day of the group campaign next weekend.
Al Ahly travel to Al Hilal while Etoile host FC Platinum who have been beaten by all teams in this pool.
In the Caf Confederation Cup, Alaedine Ajaray rose from the bench to fire in a hat-trick as Group B leaders RS Berkane hammered Esae 5-1 away in Porto-Novo to make themselves just as good as having qualified for the quarter-finals.
The Moroccans maintained top position in Group B as Hamdi Laachirand and Mohammed Azizi weighed in with a goal each for Berkane while Eric Sewa grabbed Esae’s goal as early as the first minute.
Second-placed Zanaco needed an injury-time winner from substitute Moussa Souleymanou to edge closer to reaching the last eight with a 2-1 victory over Daring Club Motema Pembe at National Heroes Stadium.
After conceding a seventh-minute goal from Bayindula Nkongo, Zanaco had to wait for Kevin Owusu Amoh to deliver an equaliser for them seven minutes from full-time, before Souleymanou sealed the victory.
It was a second successive victory for the Zambians who, interestingly, are the only side unbeaten in this group with just a point less than leaders RS Berkane.
Third-placed Motema Pembe trail the leaders by three points and will now have to beat Esae in their final group game at home while they pray that Berkane beat Zanaco to proceed to the next round.
In Group A, leaders Pyramids’ bubble finally burst after they were stunned 1-0 at home by Enugu Rangers who recorded their first victory in this group.
After enjoying a 100 percent winning record in their previous matches and already qualified for the quarter-finals, Pyramids succumbed to Ifeanyi George’s second-half strike.
Despite the victory, Rangers’ efforts came to nought as they will not be qualifying for the next stage after Al Masry booked the second spot from this group following a 1-0 victory over Nouadhibou.
Burkina Faso midfielder Saidou Simpore scored four minutes from time to send Al Masry through and complete business in this pool.
Elsewhere, Hassania Agadir progressed to the quarter-finals after a 1-1 Group D draw away at Enyimba.
Youssef Alfahli fired Agadir ahead just two minutes into the match while 14 minutes later Augustine Oladapo struck back for Enyimba who are on position two with four points off the leaders.
The Nigerians had to thank bottom-placed San Pedro for holding Paradou AC 0-0 in Algiers as they still have chances of reaching the next round.
Enyimba will now have to beat San Pedro in their next match and hope that Paradou lose to Hassania Agadir.
Meanwhile in Group C, leaders Horoya booked a quarter-final berth after edging 10-man Bidvest Wits 2-1 at the Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry.
Dramane Nikiema and Boniface Hafa scored to send Wits out of the tournament as Deon Hotto’s goal was not enough for the South Africans.
Article continues below
Winless Wits played with one man short for 65 minutes following a red card to defender Lehlohonolo Nonyane.
Now with 11 points, Horoya are three points above second-placed Al-Nasr who edged Djoliba 1-0 through 39-year-old forward Muetaz Husayn away in Bamako.
This leaves Djoliba needing to beat Wits away in their final group match as they pray that Horoya beat Al-Nasr.