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CAF Confederation Cup: Stade Malien qualify for quarterfinals; Group C set for thrilling conclusion

Five of eight quarterfinalists were determined following the fifth match day of the group stage played on Sunday from the 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup. Four North African clubs confirmed their place in the knockout stage and were joined by one sub-Saharan club, Mali’s Stade Malien, while there remains plenty of suspense in Group A and Group B for the final match day on March 3.

In Group C, victories for Ghana’s Dreams FC and Rivers United of Nigeria set up an intriguing clash between the West African clubs on the final day. Dreams defeated Tunisia’s Club Africain by a 1-0 score at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi to put the Ghana Premier League club at the top of the group with twelve points, three ahead of both CA and Rivers United. Rivers defeated bottom side Académica do Lobito and will now host Dreams FC next Sunday where only a victory will allow Rivers to overtake the Ghanaian club. Club Africain host Académica where they are heavy favorites to confirm their place in the quarterfinals with a victory.

Group A could have been decided after Sunday but one spot remains in doubt. Egypt’s Future FC will need to avoid defeat next Sunday when they host Libya’s Al-Hilal Benghazi, who surprised defending Confederation Cup champions USM Alger of Algeria with a 2-1 victory at the Benin Martyrs’ Stadium in Benghazi. USM Alger remain at the top of the group and Al-Hilal need a victory in Egypt to overtake Future. Future FC earned a 1-1 draw in South Africa against SuperSport United who are now eliminated from contention to reach the quarterfinals.

Cairo giants Zamalek SC are the winners of Group B following a 2-1 victory over Libyan club Abu Salim SC, who secured the runner-up position despite Sunday’s defeat after third placed Sagrada Esperança could only draw bottom side Académie SOAR. In Group D, Morocco’s RS Berkane played to a scoreless draw in South Africa against Sekhukhune United and Stade Malien defeated Congolese club Diables Noirs in Mali by a 1-0 score. Sekhukhune and Diables Noirs are eliminated while Stade Malien, one point behind Berkane, will face the two-time Confederation Cup champions away from home where the teams will duel for top spot.

All the scores from Sunday are below followed by highlights from some of the matches.

Scores from Sunday

Group A

Al-Hilal Benghazi (LBY) 2-1 USM Alger (DZA)

SuperSport United (RSA) 1-1 Future FC (EGY)

Group B

Abu Salim SC (LBY) 1-2 Zamalek (EGY)

Académie SOAR (GUI) 0-0 Sagrada Esperança (ANG)

Group C

Académica do Lobito (ANG) 2-3 Rivers United (NGA)

Dreams FC (GHA) 1-0 Club Africain (TUN)

Group D

Stade Malien (MLI) 1-0 Diables Noirs (COG)

Sekhukhune United (RSA) 0-0 RS Berkane (MAR)

Highlights

Abu Salim SC 1-2 Zamalek

Al-Hilal Benghazi 2-1 USM Alger

Dreams FC 1-0 Club Africain

Dreams FC 1-0 Club Africain

SuperSport United 1-1 Future FC

Sekhukhune United 0-0 RS Berkane

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