Five time winners TP Mazembe have been eliminated from the Caf Champions League after a 1-1 draw with South Africa’s Amazulu in DR Congo.
The two sides had drawn goalless in the first leg and Amazulu qualify for the group stages for the first time on away goals rule.
Bongi Ntuli scored the all-important goal for Amazulu in the first half and they held on until Adam Bossu scored a late equaliser which didn’t hurt either.
In Lusaka, Express FC conquerors Al Merrikh lost 2-1 to Zanaco but went through 4-2 on aggregate.
The Sudan giants took the lead through Tony Edjomariegwe Omayurue in the 13th minute but Mangani Banda restored parity before half time and Abraham Siankombo scored the winner that wasn’t enough to change aggregate as Al Merrikh advanced to the league stage.
The other game on the day saw Angola’s Sagrada Esperanca make history by reaching the group stage for the first time, despite losing to Eswatini Royal Leopards 1-0 in Manzini, as they qualified winning 3-2 on aggregate.
Junior Magagula scored for the hosts Leopards in the last minute, but Sagrada home 3-1 win last weekend was enough to see them through.
Elsewhere, holders Al Ahly qualified in style by humiliating Niger’s US Gendarmerie 6-1 in Cairo.
They had drawn 1-1 in the first leg but showed supremacy at home with goals from Mohamed Sherif, Mohamed ‘Afsha’ Magdy (brace), Hussein El Shahat, Mahmoud “Kahraba” Abdel Moneam and Hamdy Fathy.
Issofou Hinsa scored the visitors’ consolation who fell out 7-2 on aggregate.
Elsewhere, Petro Luanda beat visiting AS Otoho 2-0 to reach the mini league stage 4-2 on aggregate while Etoile Du Sahel humbled 10-man APR 4-0 in Tunis.
Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca also beat Liberia’s LPRC Oiler 2-0 to advance 4-0 on aggregate.
Mazembe, APR, Zanaco, Gendarmerie Nationale, LPRC Oilers, Royal Leopards and AS Otoho will now move to the Additional Second Preliminary Round of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup