CS Sfaxien of Tunisia became the third team to qualify for the Confederation Cup quarter-finals this weekend when they beat Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland 3-1 in Lobamba on Sunday.
They join Mouloudia Alger of Algeria and Al Hilal Obeid of Sudan in the knockout phase with five more places up for grabs in the final group matches next weekend.
Sfaxien, record three-time winners of Africa’s second-tier club tournament, went to Swaziland needing a point to clinch a top-two finish in Group B.
Swallows knew only maximum points would keep alive their hopes of pipping Sfaxien and become the first Swazi side to reach the quarter-finals.
The visitors went on the offensive from the kick-off at a packed Somhlolo Stadium and were rewarded with two first-half goals.
Housem Ben Ali struck on 21 minutes and Firas Chawat added a second seven minutes later before Papy Kampamba halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time.
Swallows pressed for most of the second half without success and Walid Karoui netted two minutes from time to secure the win for the Tunisians.
Swallows’ misery was complete during stoppage time when they failed to convert a penalty.
Group B leaders Mouloudia Alger were first to book a last-eight place after defeating Platinum Stars of South Africa 2-0 in Algiers Friday.
Mouloudia are away to Sfaxien next Saturday needing one point to top the final standings while only pride will be at stake when Platinum host Swallows.
On a great day for Tunisia in the Confederation Cup, Club Africain ended a run of nine home wins in Group A by winning 2-0 away to Rivers United of Nigeria to go top.
Manoubi Haddad scored direct from a free-kick after 63 minutes in Port Harcourt and Rivers captain Festus Austine deflected a low cross into his net two minutes from time.
Kampala Capital City Authority of Uganda (KCCA) trail Club Africain on goal difference after an impressive 3-1 home triumph over 2010 Confederation Cup winners FUS Rabat of Morocco.
Geoffrey Sserunkuma gave KCCA a half-time lead that was stretched to three goals by Saddam Juma and Isaac Muleme before Lamine Diakite grabbed a late consolation goal.
Club Africain and KCCA have nine points and FUS and Rivers six, leaving all four teams in contention ahead of the final fixtures next Friday.
Holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo rose from third to first in Group D by winning 1-0 away to struggling Mounana of Gabon in Libreville.
Zambian Rainford Kalaba had a harshly-awarded Mazembe penalty saved, but almost immediately Issama Mpeko hammered a rebound into the net for the 79th-minute match-winner.
Mazembe and Horoya of Guinea have nine points, SuperSport United of South Africa seven and Mounana are pointless after five consecutive losses.