Caf Champions League Friday review wrap: Esperance storm into quarter-finals, Club Africain humble Constantine

Franck Kom Esperance
Club Africain delayed CS Constantine's confirmation of a place into the quarter-finals, while Ismaily were officially knocked out by TP Mazembe

CS Constantine will have to wait for the final day of the group stages to book their place in the Caf Champions League quarter-finals after they were beaten 1-0 at home by Club Africain in a Group C match on Friday.

The Algerian champions needed just a point to book a place into the quarter-finals, but they succumbed to their first loss of the campaign.

Burkinabe forward Bassirou Compaore grabbed the all-important goal on the stroke of halftime to give third-placed Club Africain their second win of the campaign.

It was a match in which Constantine might feeling they could have at collected at least a point after Congolese midfielder Dylan Bahamboula blew up an opportunity for an equaliser for the hosts when he missed from the penalty spot on 58 minutes.

Despite the defeat, Constantine remained on top of the group, but their lead was reduced from three points to two.

Constantine will however still need to collect at least a point in their final game away at TP Mazembe to proceed further in the competition, while Club Africain will be keen to beat Ismaily at home to go ahead.

In another Group C match played in Alexandria, Ismaily were held to a 1-1 draw by visitors TP Mazembe to officially bow out of the tournament with no victory in five games.

Although qualifying for the quarter-finals was just as good as impossible for Ismaily, they still had mathematical chances of making it, but their fate was sealed by the Congolese giants, who almost stole an away victory.

Ismaily remain winless in this group with just two points from five matches.

An unmarked Meschak Elia fired Mazembe ahead five minutes before halftime by turning in Jackson Muleka’s low cross.

But Abdel Rahman Magdi hit back for Ismaily 10 minutes after the break when he fired into the bottom corner of the net after being set up by Emad Hamdi.

With one round of matches remaining at this stage, standings in Group C remain unchanged with Mazembe remaining on second position with two points behind leaders Constantine.

Elsewhere at Stade Olympique de Rades, defending champions Esperance became the first team to storm into the quarter-finals of the current campaign following a 2-0 win over Horoya.

An own goal by Horoya defender Hamed Marius Assoko in the 23rd minute got Esperance sailing, before Cameroonian midfielder Franck Kom doubled the Tunisians lead seven minutes from time.

Having opened a four-point gap at the top, even if Esperance lose their final group match away at FC Platinum, they would still be guaranteed of finishing as Group B leaders.

Malian defender Assoko gifted Esperance the tonic to victory when he turned the ball into his own net, beating his goalkeeper Moussa Camara.

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Horoya then tried to stage a comeback which some persistent attacking, but Esperance goalkeeper Rami Jridi managed to keep a clean sheet with some good saves.

Kom then frustrated the visitors’ efforts to claw their way back in the contest with a late goal off an assist by Yassine Khenissi.

There was no movement in this group as Horoya remained on second position despite the defeat and now need just a draw against Orlando Pirates at home to secure passage into the last eight.