Vita, Mazembe into CAF Champions League semis
Cairo: Vita won 1-0 at Egyptians Zamalek Sunday to seal CAF Champions League semi-finals places for themselves and fellow Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe.
Only a Zamalek victory at Alexandria Stadium in the Mediterranean city could prevent the Congolese advancing from Group A, but the `White Knights` fell to a second-half Yunus Sentamu goal.
It was the first goal scored in the premier African club competition by the Uganda national team striker, who turns 20 this Wednesday.
The Mazembe `Ravens` and the Vita `Black Dolphins` have 10 points each ahead of a final matchday clash in Kinshasa this month to decide who finishes top of the table.
Five-time African champions Zamalek and Sudanese El-Hilal have four points each and their Omdurman fixture will determine who avoids last place in the mini-league.
Draws would favour four-time African champions Mazembe and Zamalek on the head-to-head rule as both won at home against their final-round rivals.
Mazembe were convincing 3-1 winners over Hilal at Stade Kamalondo in southern Congolese mining city Lubumbashi several hours before the Zamalek-Vita game kicked off.
Goals from Zambian Rainford Kalaba, Ghanaian Solomon Asante and Malian Amara Traore secured maximum points for Mazembe emphasised the multi-national composition of the team.
Hilal, whose only group win came against Mazembe in the opening round, wasted several good scoring chances before Mudathir `Careca` Eltaib netted in stoppage time.
Tunisians CS Sfaxien and Algerians Entente Setif secured semi-finals places from Group B at the expense of Tunisians Esperance and Libyans Al-Ahly Benghazi.
Sfaxien won 1-0 away to Benghazi thanks to a mid-second goal from Ferjani Sassi, his first in the competition this year.
A thriller between Setif and Esperance ended 2-2 with Akram Djahnit on target twice for the Algerian `Black Eagles` and Ahmed Akaichi bagging a brace for the Tunisian `Blood and Gold`.
Sfaxien have 10 points and Setif nine ahead of a final matchday clash while Esperance and Benghazi, with four each, must play for pride.
The CAF Champions League offers a $1.5 million (1.1 million euros) first prize and a passport to the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.