Zesco United are out of the Caf Confederation Cup after failing to win their fourth straight match in Group C courtesy of a 3-0 thumping by Nkana in the Cobberbelt Derby in Kitwe on Sunday.
The result saw Zesco remain rooted at the foot of the group in a run that include three defeats and a draw, while Nkana climbed to the top of the group.
After a first half that witnessed no goals, Kelvin Kampamba, Ronald Kampamba and Shadrick Musonda struck after the break to give Nkana victory.
Undone by some missed chances especially in the opening half, Zesco paid a hefty price for their wastefulness starting with Kelvin’s goal on 64 minutes off a Harrison Chisala assist.
Zesco still had the chance to come back, and in the process brought in Mwelwa Mwape to boost their creative hub, but Nkana proved persistent with Ronald doubling the hosts' advantage on 85 minutes after being set up by captain Walter Bwalya.
Musonda killed off the match as a contest a minute before full-time with the third goal that officially signalled Zesco’s exit from the tournament.
Elsewhere in Luanda, Petro Atletico rekindled their hopes of progression with a 2-0 win over Algerian visitors NA Hussein Dey in a Group D tie.
First-half goals by Job and Brazilian forward Tiago Azulao saw Petro vacate the basement to second spot while Hussein Dey were relegated from the top to third place.
Job fired Atletico ahead 16 minutes into the match before Azulao converted from the spot six minutes before the break.
After three consecutive draws, Sfaxien finally collected three points as they returned to the summit of the pool with a two-point lead.
Firas Chaouat put Sfaxien ahead in the 58th minute before Sadam Ben Aziza restored parity for Etoile four minutes later.
But a converted penalty by Nassim Hnid powered the Sfaxien to victory as the visitors dropped to second-place.
Meanwhile, in Group A, defending champions Raja Casablanca are still in with a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals despite going a fifth straight match without tasting victory after being held 0-0 by Hassania Agadir at home.
In a volatile match that yielded 10 yellow cards, Raja failed to win again and remain at the bottom of the group with four points in five games.
But interestingly, they are still in the running for a last eight berth ahead of their final visit to second-placed AS Otoho, who are just a point ahead of them.
In another Group A match, RSB Berkane eased into the quarter-finals for a second successive season following a 3-0 victory over AS Otoho at home.
Burkinabe forward Fo-Doh Kodjo Laba led the assault with a goal and an assist for Salman El Haj while Abdessamad El Mobaraky also added his name onto the scoresheet as Berkane maintained an unbeaten run in this group campaign.
Berkane are now comfortably six points clear at the top of the group and guaranteed to finish at the top even if they lose their last match against fellow Moroccans Hassania Agadir.