TP Mazembe 5-0 Moghreb Tetouan
Moghreb Tetouan's hopes of reaching their first semi-final came crashing to the ground as Mazembe put in a faultless performance in Lubumbashi to deny the Moroccans. Mbwana Samata was the hero for Les Corbeaux. The Tanzanian international, who went into the match not having found the net for seven games, scored a hat-trick. Rainford Kalaba and Roger Assale scored the others as the side from Congo DR proved simply too strong for their opponents. They will now face Sudanese club Al Merreikh, who are coached by former Mazembe trainer Diego Garzitto, in the last four. Mazembe coach Patrice Carteron, who began the game with an offensive line-up comprising nine internationals from six countries, said that his side's offensive display was not a surprise. "We do everything to produce attacking football because our fans request it. This is the hallmark of our side at home. It is also not their style to sit back behind the ball. This made for an exciting match.”
The other Group A game saw Nasr Eldin Omar score a dramatic late goal to give Al Hilal the draw they needed in Alexandria against Egyptian club Smouha. Hilal, who last appeared in the semi-finals in 2011, went behind midway through the first half after Amr El-Menouf opened the scoring. The visitors, who knew that they would be eliminated with a defeat as Mazembe was leading Tetouan, pushed forward for an equaliser, but had to wait until the 73rd minute before the midfielder made the most of Smouha's failure to clear the ball. The draw lifted Hilal to nine points – three behind Mazembe, but most importantly one ahead of Tetouan. As reward, Hilal will play against Group B winners USM Alger in the semi-finals.
In Group B, USM missed out on the chance to make history by becoming the first club to obtain a maximum 18 points from their six matches. The Red and Blacks were beaten 1-0 in Sudan by Al Merreikh, who like the Algerian side had already been guaranteed of a place in the semi-finals ahead of the game. Côte d'Ivoire striker Didier Lebri Grekou scored the only goal of the game early, but the outcome had no bearing on the final group standings as USM topped the table with 15 points, two ahead of the Sudanese. MC El Eulma avoided the embarrassment of becoming only the second club in the history of the Champions League (Mozambican team Costa do Sol were the first in 2002) to lose all six matches. The Algerian second division club held the 2014 champions ES Setif to a 2-2 draw in Setif, equalising through Abdelmalek Abbes in injury time, having earlier surrendered a 1-0 lead. They ended their campaign on one point, while Setif have five.
Player of the week
Going into their final group game against Egyptian club Smouha, Al Hilal knew that a draw would be good enough to secure them a place in the semi-finals – irrespective of the result in the other game between TP Mazembe and Moghreb Tetouan. Hilal were shocked midway through the first half when Smouha took the lead and held it until the 73rd minute, when midfielder Nasr Eldin Omer found the goal that took his team through. It was the second goal he scored against Smouha in this competition, having already found the back of the net for his club in the 2-0 victory at home. The Sudan international also played in the Champions League for city rivals Al Merreikh.
5 – The number of countries that now have managed to provide two semi-finalists in the same year after Al Merreikh and Al Hilal made history for Sudan. Previously Congo DR (2014), Nigeria (2009), Egypt (2005) and Tunisia (2004) managed to get two clubs into the semi-finals.
What they said
"I regret this defeat, especially since it deprives us of reaching the historic mark of 18 points. Despite this setback, I am fully satisfied with the performance of my players who gave it their all.” USM Alger coach Miloud Hamdi.
Have your say
Can TP Mazembe join Cairo giants Zamalek as the second most successful club in the competitions' history? Les Corbeaux currently sit on four titles – one behind the Egyptian club. Zamalek's city rivals Al Ahly have won the showpiece event of African club football eight times.