Zamalek joined their Cairo rivals Al Ahli in the final four at the weekend while Etoile Sahel's 1-1 draw against Esperance leaves them on the brink of the semis following the fifth round of group matches in the African Champions League.
Zamalek's winning goal in their 2-1 home victory over Cote d'Ivoire's ASEC Mimosas in Group B came from the penalty spot, netted by defender Wael El Quabbani in the 80th minute after substitute Sameh Youssef had been brought down by Ali N'dri.
Up until the incident the Egyptians had been on the back foot as ASEC fought back in an attempt to salvage their Champions League campaign. Zamalek scrambled a first-half goal in Cairo through Gamal Hamza but in the second half ASEC's teenage prodigy Ismail Fofana equalised with a stunning left-foot drive after having come on and set about the Egyptian club's defence. But just as ASEC looked to be able to snatch a win, fortune turned against them as they crashed out of the competition.
Etoile Sahel are second in Group B, (7 points, two behind Zamalek) after holding fellow Tunisians Esperance to a 1-1 draw in the derby match at Rades on Saturday. Three points adrift of their countrymen and with an inferior goal difference, Esperance's hopes are now hanging on tenterhooks as they continued to struggle with form. Amine Letifi's equaliser cancelled out Khaled Mellitti early strike at the November 10 stadium. Esperance finish their group campaign away at ASEC Abidjan on 10 September, while Etoile Sahel will finish top and avoid Al Ahli if they beat Zamalek in Sousse.
Ahli leave it late
Going into stoppage time and trailing by a goal, Egyptian champions Al Ahli were on the verge of losing their 14-month unbeaten record at the Mohamed V complex in Casablanca on Saturday night. But then Emad Motaeb, who has emerged as their new star over the last year, popped up to scramble an equaliser for the 1-1 draw and guarantee top spot in Group A.
Enyimba, who were bottom of the standings at the halfway point of the group stage, continued to turn their fortunes around with a second successive win as they beat Ajax Cape Town 2-0 on Sunday. Second half goals from Atanda Sakibu and Chidozie Johnson ensured the African champions for the past two years moved onto seven points, two more than Raja Casablanca. Raja can still overtake Enyimba but must now beat the South Africans, who have yet to win a game, in Cape Town, while Enyimba need a point in Cairo against Al Ahli to make sure of proceeding. Both matches are on 11 September.
Enyimba 2-0 Ajax
Al Ahli 1-1 Raja Casablanca
Zamalek 2-1 ASEC
Esperance 1-1 Etoile Sahel
Standings (after four games)
Al Ahli, 11 points
Etoile Sahel, 7