Sundowns falter as Wydad, Al Ahly book knockout berths in Champions League
Defending champions Wydad Casablanca and Egyptian giants Al Ahly both sealed their places in the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League on Friday, but 2016 winners Mamelodi Sundowns are in a perilous position.
Wydad defeated the South African champions 1-0 in Casablanca thanks to a rocket shot in the second half from right-back Anas Al Asbah.
It was a match of very few opportunities, but the best of them fell to the home side, though Sundowns did have a late shout for a penalty for handball in the box turned down.
Wydad top Group C with 11 points, three ahead of Guinean side Horoya, who defeated AS Togo-Port 2-1 in Conakry earlier in the day.
Sundowns are on five points and must beat Horoya at home in their final fixture on August 28 to move into second, over-taking the west Africans on head-to-head results after the pair played to a 2-2 draw earlier in pool play.
Goals from Ocansey Mandela and Bolaji Sakin helped Horoya to their win on Friday, which eliminated Togo-Port from quarterfinal contention. Ablamvi Djadja had netted for the visitors.
In Friday night's only Group A action Moroccan forward Walid Azarou scored the only goal as Al Ahly secured an excellent 1-0 away win at Esperance to seal their passage to the next stage.
Both clubs have 10 points from their five matches and cannot be caught by the other teams in the pool who'll play on Saturday, Township Rollers of Botswana and KCCA from Uganda, who have three points each from four matches.
In Group B, an equalizer 10 minutes from time by TP Mazembe forward Ben Malango Ngita denied ES Setif a precious victory.
The DR Congo side had already qualified for the knockout stages but fell behind to a goal from Mohamed Islam Bakir on the hour-mark.
Mazembe have 11 points, with MC Alger and ES Setif on four, though the former have played a match fewer and meet Moroccan club Difaa El Jadidi on Saturday.
Meanwhile, both Group D's matchday 5 fixtures will take place on Saturday, namely Mbabane Swallows vs. Zesco United (15:00, CAT) and Étoile Sportive du Sahel vs. Clube Desportivo 1º de Agosto (21:00, CAT). Etoile are sitting pretty on 10 points ahead of 1º de Agosto (5) and Zesco (4), while Swallows' campaign could end on Saturday as they languish on two points only.