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Esperance, CR Belouizdad storm into Champions League quarter finals

  • Esperance and Belouizdad won to qualify
  • So far seven teams have made it to the quarter finals
  • The last round of matches will be played after the international break

Esperance du Tunis and CR Beliuizdad have become the latest teams to qualify for the quarter finals of the CAF Champions League with the business end of the group stages storming through this weekend.

Esperance comfortably saw off Jwaneng Galaxy in Francistown while Belouizdad won 2-0 at home against ES Tunis.

In Francistown, Kingsley Eduwo’s brace helped Esperance to a 3-0 victory over Jwaneng Galaxy.

The victory in Botswana took Esperance to 11 points in Group C, and earn an unassailable lead from third placed Etoile du Sahel with one round of matches left.

For Jwaneng, their attempt at earning a maiden victory in their debut in the group stages of the Champions League didn’t come to fruition as they suffered their fourth loss in five matches.

The Tunisian needed just 13 minutes to get into the lead when Eduwo finished off a Raed Fadaa cross with a fine looping header inside the six yard box.

They were in crisp control of the match and they doubled their tally after 31 minutes when Nigerian Anayo Iwuala found the back of the net, taking advantage of a mix up between the keeper and defence to slam the ball home into an empty net..

In the second half, Jwaneng came back with a spirited display as they looked to bridge the gap. They pressed Esperance in their own half, but their fight was punctured in the 63rd minute when Oduwo scored his second.

In Algiers, Sofiane Bouchar and Mohamed Belkhir scored for the Algerians in the first half as they moved to 11 points in Group C, same as leaders Esperance with one round of group stage matches left.

Etoile needed nothing but a win in Saturday’s fixture away in Algiers, but they fell short, remaining third with just three points from three successive draws.

The home side had a bright start, getting into the lead after just three minutes. Mohamed Bakir’s freekick from the left was spilled by the Etoile keeper right at Bouchar’s feet, the defender simply guiding the ball home.

They doubled their tally quarter of an hour later, this time Belkhir calmly finishing from inside the box after Karim Aribi flicked a long ball into his path.

They should have gone to the break three goals up, but Kheiredine Merzougui who had just come on for the injured Aribi failed to head on target off a Mokhtar Belkhiter pin-point cross.

Etoile tried to pull in some effort in the second half to get a comeback, but the Algerian side defended well to guard the victory and confirm their place in the last eight.

Meanwhile, Wydad Club Athletic moved top of Group D after a come from behind win over GD Sagrada Esperanca. Petro de Luanda dropped to second after a 0-0 draw with Zamalek in the other group match.

Sagrada were seemingly headed for their first win of the group stages, but conceded two late goals to see their hunt for a maiden victory punctured.

Esperança led by a solitary goal scored by Joaquim Paciencia until the 82nd minute when Zouheir El Moutaraji drew the Moroccans level. In the fourth minute of added time, substitute Juvhel Tsoumou completed the comeback to deny the home side a maiden group stage victory.

Paciencia had sent Esperança dreaming, scoring their first goal in the group stages after half an hour when he finished off a quick counter attack.

In the second half, Wydad camped in their half as they pushed to get back into the game. Esperanca keeper Gerson made a brilliant one on one save in the 54th minute to deny El Moutaraji after being put through on goal.

But, the midfielder dew his side level in the 82nd minute when he volleyed the ball home from the backpost after Guy Mbenza had flicked a corner to his path.

Mbenza was then denied by the post after a sweet connection from a cross, before forcing keeper Gerson to a brilliant one handed save.

However, Esperanca chocked in the last minute of added time when substitute Tsoumou scored the winner.

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