Champions League: USM, Ahly Tripoli advance, Zamalek out

The African Champions League trophy
For the fist time ever the African Champions League will feature a quarter-final round

USM Alger of Algeria and Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya reached the African Champions League quarter-finals Sunday.

But last year's runners-up Zamalek of Egypt were knocked out after being reduced to 10 men.

A 4-1 home victory over CAPS United of Zimbabwe in Algiers ensured USM of top place in Group B with 11 points from six matches.

Ahly Tripoli caused an upset by holding five-time African champions Zamalek 2-2 in Cairo and finishing runners-up with nine points.

African Champions League quarter-finalists
Al Ahly (Egypt)Ferroviario Beira (Mozambique)
Al Ahly Tripoli (Libya)Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
Esperance (Tunisia)USM Alger (Algeria)
Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)

Zamalek, whose only win came in the group was at home to CAPS, finished third on six points, ahead of the Harare club on head-to-head record.

USM Alger were 2-0 up before half-time with goals from Ziri Hammar and Okacha Hamzaoui that was extended when Oussama Darfalou scored 12 minutes from time.

Abbas Aminu pulled one goal back for outclassed CAPS only for Darfalou to strike again with a tap-in two minutes from time.

Zamalek's Basem Morsy gave the Egyptians an early lead, but the match changed for his side in first half stoppage-time.

Mahmoud Hamdy was sent off for a penalty area foul and Anis Saltou converted the spot-kick to draw Ahly Tripoli level.

The Libyan outfit took the lead midway through the second half when Vianney Mabide from the Central African Republic scored.

Nigerian Marouf Yousef equalised for Zamalek with 15 minutes remaining, but a third goal that would have earned a quarter-finals place eluded them.

Already-qualified Esperance of Tunisia sealed top spot in Group C with a comfortable 4-0 win over visiting Saint George of Ethiopia 4-0.

Goals from Khalil Chemmam and Bilel Mejri gave Esperance a two-goal half-time lead and Haythem Jouini and Ali Machani completed the rout.

Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, who had also secured a last-eight place with a game to spare, drew 1-1 with AS Vita Club of the DR Congo in Pretoria.

A 35th-minute goal from captain Thabo Nthethe for Sundowns was cancelled by Cameroonian Yazid Atouba 17 minutes before time.

Unbeaten Esperance accumulated 12 points, defending champions Sundowns nine and Saint George and AS Vita Club on five.

Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia, Ferroviario Beira of Mozambique, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt are the other quarter-finalists.

The quarter-finals will be played in September.

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