Egyptian giants Al Ahly edged Étoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia 1-0 at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo on Sunday in their CAF Champions League match to move top of Group B.
Nigerian midfielder Junior Ajayi scored the only goal of the match in the 32nd minute to secure all three points for the eight-time African champions.
Sudan’s Al-Hilal Omdurman had temporarily jumped into first place following a 1-0 win away against Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum on Saturday.
Al Ahly leads the group with 10 points, one ahead of Al-Hilal and Étoile who are locked on 9 points with one game left to play while Platinum is bottom with one point.
In Group D, Fadi Ben Choug scored a late equaliser as defending champions Espérance of Tunisia drew 2-2 with CAF Super Cup winners Raja Casablanca of Morocco.
Abdelraouf Benguit opened the scoring for the Tunisians in the 32nd minute. However, strikes by Fabrice Gael Ngah and Badr Banoun put the Moroccans ahead only for Choug to level the tie.
Both clubs progressed from the group even as DR Congo’s AS Vita thumped JS Kabylie of Algeria 4-1 in the other group match.
In Group A, Egypt’s Zamalek and DR Congo’s TP Mazembe played out to a goalless draw in Egypt as both sides, who are both five-time champions, booked a quarterfinal spot. ZESCO United of Zambia and Primeiro de Agosto of Angola also drew 1-1 in Ndola, Zambia.
In Group C, 2017 champions Wydad Casablanca of Morocco defeated USM Alger of Algeria 3-1 at home to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Goals from Walid El Karti, Badi Aouk and Kazadi Kaasengu gave Wydad a 3-0 lead at halftime. Mohamed Rabie Meftah scored a consolation for the visitors in the 87th minute.
In the other group game, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa drew 2-2 away to Petro Atlético in Angola.
Motjeka Madisha’s 91st minute equaliser earned the 2016 champions a draw after Job and Jacques Tuyisenge had given the Angolans a shock lead. Gaston Sirino had given the South Africans the lead through a penalty on 23 minutes.
The final round of group matches will all be played on February 1.