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MC Alger rally to draw Espérance, advance to CAFCL quarter-finals

Algeria will have two teams in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals following MC Alger’s 1-1 draw at Espérance to clinch second place in Group D. While Egyptian club Zamalek put the pressure on by doing their part with a 4-1 victory over Senegal’s Teungueth, Abdenour Belkheir’s 68th minute equalizer brought relief to the Algiers-based side.

Espérance put out a weakened starting eleven as anticipated with qualification already achieved and it created an even match. After an early exchange of opportunities the hosts struck first in the 31st minute. Anice Badri’s nifty footwork led to a shooting opportunity inside the penalty area for Nassim Ben Khalifa, whose low shot deflected over MCA goalkeeper Abdelkadir Salhi.

MCA knew that more urgency was needed and the visitors stepped up their attacking focus. In the second-half the pressure increased and a deserved equalizer came in the second half after Espérance escaped some close calls. Samy Friouli was sent in down the left flank and cut back a cross low to Belkheir. The forward took a touch before lacing a low effort through the crowd to get the crucial equalizer. Belkheir’s goal was enough to give MCA the needed point to progress.

In the other match, Zamalek won 4-1 against overmatched Teungueth but the three points were not enough for the Egyptian club to climb out of third place. Mahmoud Hamdi and Marwan Hamdy each scored twice in the first-half to give the Cairo side an unreachable 4-0 deficit at the half. Teungueth performed noticeably better in the second half to get a goal back and end their debut group stage campaign on a positive note.

Highlights are below from both games.

Espérance 1-1 MC Alger

Zamalek 4-1 Teungueth FC

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