North African heavyweights Wydad Casablanca and Al Ahly have secured safe passage into the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League, while South Africa’s Orlando Pirates have crashed out following the completion of the group phase on Saturday.
Pirates were hoping to join defending champions Esperance de Tunis as qualifiers from Group B and needed to win away to Guinea’s Horoya AC in Conakry to do so. However, goals from Abdoulaye Paye Camara and Boniface Haba ensured HAC joined the Bllod and Gold in advancing.
There was also drama in Group D, where Egyptian giants Al Ahly rose to the top of the pile thanks to a comfortable 3-0 home win over JS Saoura in Alexandria. The Algerians could have progressed despite the defeat had the other game in the group ended in a draw.
That looked to be the case in Dar Es Salaam, where Simba SC and AS Vita were drawing 1-1 until the final minute of regulation time, when Cletus Chama struck to secure a 2-1 victory for the Tanzanians and send them into the final eight.
Group C finished with TP Mazembe at the top of the pile after a 2-0 win over CS Constantine in Lubumbashi, while the vanquished Algerian side joined the Ravens in advancing as they finished ahead of Tunisia’s Club Africain (who defeated Ismaily 1-0) on a head-to-head tie breaker.
In Group A, Wydad edged Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in Rabat thanks to a goal from Mohamed Nahiri, seeing them leapfrog the already-qualified Brazilians into top spot – both teams advance into the knockout phase.
Ivorian giants ASEC Mimosas needed Wydad to lose or draw to have any chance of advancing, but they were beaten 2-0 in Nigeria by Lobi Stars, who leapfrogged their fellow West Africans into third place.
The draw for the quarterfinals will be held on March 20, with the first and return legs set for April 5-6 and 12-13 respectively.
CAF Champions League results, Saturday 16 March
Horoya 2-0 Orlando Pirates
Platinum FC 1-2 Esperance de Tunis
Club Africain 1-0 Ismaily
TP Mazembe 2-0 CS Constantine
Wydad Casablanca 1-0 Mamelodi Sundowns
Lobi Stars 2-0 ASEC Mimosas
Al Ahly 3-0 JS Saoura
Simba SC 2-1 AS Vita