Al Ahly Tripoli last team to clinch a spot in CAF Champions League playoffs

Draws with last year’s runners up Zamalek

Zamalek player Mahmoud Atta (R) in action against Al Ahly Tripoli player Muaid Salem Ali (L) during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between Zamalek and Al Ahly Tripoli at Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt on in Alexandria, Egypt, on 9 July 2017 © BackpagePix

The African Champions League quarterfinals participants were solidified by the end of last weekend, with the biggest shocker being a 2-2 draw that pushed Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya into the quarterfinals while keeping Egyptian club Zamalek out. Zamalek got all the way to the finals of last year’s African Champions League, which makes this especially sting. Zamalek scored first thanks to Basem Morsy, but Al Ahly Tripoli equalized with a free kick by Anis Saltou. The foul that awarded the free kick also caused Zamalek to play with just 10 men in the second half. Al Ahly Tripoli went ahead with a score from Vianney Mabide in the second half. Zamalek tried to fight back with a 75th minute goal by Marouf Yousef, but Zamalek couldn’t muster a third goal to get them the points they needed to advance.

Al Ahly Tripoli finished in second place in Group B thanks to the draw, joining USM Alger of Algeria in this year’s quarterfinals. USM Alger had already secured their position in the quarterfinals, but capped off group play with a dominant 4-1 victory over Zimbabwean club CAPS United. USM Alger scored two goals in the first half off the feet of Ziri Hammar and Okacha Hamazaoui. A third goal was scored in the 57th minute by USM Alger’s Oussama Darfalou before CAPS United scored their lone goal thanks to Abbas Aminu; a fourth goal was scored by Darfalou in the 88th minute.

In other results, Esperance of Tunisia, who was already qualified, trounced Ethiopian club Saint George four goals to nil. Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, which was already qualified as well, fought to a 1-1 draw with Congolese club AS Vita Club. The other clubs in the quarterfinals, which will begin in September, are Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel, Mozambican club Ferroviario Beira, Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca and Egyptian club Al Ahly.

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