Madrid: Ivorians ASEC Mimosas did Cameroonians Coton Sport a huge favour Sunday by holding Malians Real Bamako 0-0 in a CAF Confederation Cup matchday 5 clash.
The Abidjan result sealed a semi-finals place for Coton 24 hours after they suffered a four-goal home thrashing from Congolese AC Leopards.
Leopards and Real must slug it out in late September for the other Group A semi-finals slot with the odds stacked in favour of the Congolese.
Real host Coton and Leopards host former African champions ASEC in the final round of mini-league fixtures with the Congolese three points ahead.
Leopards also have a superior goal difference -- plus four against minus one -- should that factor come into play as the clubs are equal on the head-to-head record.
Real would need to win by three goals and hope Leopards lose by three to squeeze into the penultimate phase of the second-tier African club competition.
And that is an unlikely scenario even allowing for some shock recent results in the group with Real defeating Leopards in Congo and Leopards humbling Coton in Cameroon.
Teenager Kader Bidimbou could be the goal poacher to take Leopards closer to a second Confederation Cup title in three years after scoring a hat-trick at Coton.
He opened his goal account on 54 minutes and Cameroonian Nicaise Zimbori fluffed a penalty before Cesaire Gandze claimed the second Congolese goal.
Bidimbou added two more goals to inflict the heaviest home defeat on Coton in a CAF fixture.
All four Group B teams are in contention for last-four places after shock 1-0 victories by Zambians Nkana over Egyptians Al-Ahly and Ivorians Sewe San Pedro over Tunisians Etoile Sahel.
Both match-winning goals came early in the second half with Billy Mwanza converting an Nkana penalty-kick and Essis Aka scoring for Sewe.
Ahly, winners of a record 18 CAF titles, have eight points, Nkana seven, Sewe six and Etoile five entering the final straight.
The Egyptians host the Tunisians and the Ivorians host the Zambians with Ahly needing a draw and Sewe a victory to progress.