Egyptian giants Al Ahly on Saturday forced a draw at Al Hilal in Omdurman, Sudan to qualify for the 2019/20 Caf Champions League quarterfinals.
The eight-time champions came into the last match of pool stage on the brink of elimination if they failed to collect a point at their Sudanese rivals back yard. They were also keeping an eye on Etoile du Sahel encounter in Rades, Tunisia.
They finished with 12 points, one ahead of Al Hilal, but a point less than Etoile who beat bottom side FC Platinum from Zimbabwe 2-0 at home.
Al Ahly were the first on the scoresheet through Mohamed Magdy Afsha and were cruising to a crucial victory but Abdul Razig Omar scored from a close range in the dying minutes. Al Ahly held on for the final nervy minutes to ensure they don't crash out of Africa's premier club competition.
TP Mazembe flourishes
In Lubumbashi, Congolese giants TP Mazembe beat Zambia's Zesco United 3-1 to finish top of Group A.
Youngster Jackson Muleka was on the mark twice with Chico Ushindi adding the third as the Congolese dominated proceedings from the start to the end and finished the pool with 14 points, five ahead of Egypt's Zamalek.
In Luanda, Zamalek shared the spoils with their hosts after playing to a dull goalless draw. Zesco and Primero finish the group without a single victory. Primero are third with four points from four draws while Zesco finish bottom with three points, also from three draws.
Unbeaten run ended
In Group D, Esperance's 26-match unbeaten run came to a crashing halt after they were beaten by a solitary goal JS Kabylie. The win was however not enough to see the Algerians advance to the last eight as they finished the group third with seven points.
Morocco's Raja Casablanca beat Congolese side AS Vita 1-0 to finish second with 11 points, same as Esperance but have inferior goal difference. Vita prop the pool with four points.
Sundowns too strong
In Pool C, Mamelodi Sundowns set another record as the first South African side to go through the pool stages without suffering defeat. They beat visiting Wydad Casablanca 1-0 in Pretoria to finish on top of the pool with 14 points. Wydad finished second with nine points.
In the final match of the day, USM Alger and Petro de Luanda finished the pool winless after playing out a 2-2-2 draw in Algiers. Petro finished the group on four points, one more than USMA.
Champions League results
- Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 Wydad Casablanca
- Primeiro de Agosto 0-0 Zamalek
- TP Mazembe 3-1 ZESCO United
- USM Alger 2-2 Petro de Luanda
- JS Kabylie 1- 0 ES Tunis
- Raja Casablanca 1-0 AS Vita Club
- Al-Hilal Omdurman1-1 Al Ahly
- Étoile du Sahel 2-0 FC Platinum