Holders Raja Casablanca went out of the African Confederation Cup on Sunday, despite convincingly winning their final group game away from home.
In a group dominated by Moroccan sides, Raja beat AS Otoho d’Oyo in Congo Brazzaville 4-1 but Hassania Agadir’s 1-0 win over Renaissance Berkane – who had already qualified for the last eight – ended Raja’s faint hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
Other teams to progress included Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel, Egyptian giants Zamalek and Kenya’s Gor Mahia.
Raja Casablanca began the day bottom of the standings after managing just four draws and one defeat in their previous five group games.
They went to Congo Brazzaville needing a victory against AS Otoho d’Oyo to stand any chance of progressing, but things started badly for the cup holders when Otoho took a 16th minute lead through Dimitri Magnoleke Bissiki.
Raja fought back with two goals just before the break from Mahmoud Benhalib and Sanad Warfali.
The Moroccans added two more in the second half with Ayoub Nanah and Mouhssine Iajour scoring to make it 4-1 to the champions.
But Raja’s fate rested on the all-Moroccan tie in Agadir where they needed Renaissance Berkane to beat Hassania Agadir.
The result did not go Raja’s way with Hassania winning 1-0. Hassania progress to the quarter-finals along with Berkane who booked their place in the last eight last weekend.
Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel ensured they progressed to the quarter-finals with their compatriots CS Sfaxien thanks to a 1-0 home win over Burkina Faso’s Salitas.
Firas Belarbi gave Etoile the three points with a goal in the sixth minute.
CS Sfaxien, who had also already qualified for the last eight, went to Nigeria to face Enugu Rangers.
A goal from Nassim Hnid after 73 minutes gave Sfaxien a 1-0 victory to ensure they finished top of the group with Etoile two points behind in second place.
Sudan’s Al Hilal went through after a 4-1 win over Zambia’s Nkana in Omdurman.
Despite the defeat, Nkana also progressed after Ghana’s Asante Kotoko lost 2-1 away to Zesco United in Ndola, a club who had already been eliminated after last weekend’s group games.
Al Hilal finished top of the standings, two points ahead of Nkana.
At the start of the day, only two points separated all four teams in the group – but Kenya’s Gor Mahia managed to go from bottom to second place thanks to a 1-0 win over Angola’s Petro Atletico in Nairobi.
In an eventful game which included two red-cards for the hosts, Gor booked their place in the quarter-finals thanks to a 58th minute penalty from Jacques Tuyisenge.
Egyptian giants Zamalek also went through despite being held to a 0-0 draw away to NA Hussein Dey in Algiers.
The draw for the quarter-finals will be made in Cairo on Wednesday 20 March.
Report by BBC online