Ismaily reached the Caf Champions League group stages despite losing 2-1 away at Cotonsport to mark a memorable return to the elite club competition for the first time since 2010.

Having won 2-0 at home in the first leg, Ismaily’s defeat in Garoua could not condemn to the Confederation Cup play-offs where Cotonsport were relegated to.

Right from the start, Ismaily made life difficult for Cotonsport with an early goal by Baher El Mohamady who converted from the penalty spot as early as three minutes into the match.

Now faced with a mammoth task of scoring four goals to progress to the group phase, Cotonsport tried to comeback through goals from Denis Ngweni Ndasi Kadiang and Daouda Kamilou who struck in a penalty but it was too little, too late for the Cameroonians.

Elsewhere, TP Mazembe advanced into the Caf Champions League group stages despite being held 1-1 by Zesco United away in Ndola.

Thanks to the 1-0 win recorded at home in the first leg, Mazembe sailed through 2-1 on aggregate.

Striker Lazarous Kambole had thrust Zesco in front 12 minutes into the match as the Zambians looked to be clawing their way back into the contest and threatened to upset the five-time African champions.

But veteran Tresor Mputu replied for Mazembe three minutes after the restart, leaving Zesco searching for two more goals to advance to the group stages.

Mazembe held on to march ahead while Zesco were relegated to the Caf Confederation Cup play-offs.

Zesco will now know their play-offs opponents at the draw to be conducted on December 28 in Cairo.

Next door in Zimbabwe, FC Platinum stormed into the group phase for the first time ever despite being held to a goalless draw by visiting AS Otoho from Congo Brazzaville.

The Zimbabwean champions had to ride on away goals rule after the 1-1 draw they forced away last week.

After attempting to reach the Champions League mini-league phase twice before, FC Platinum finally struck the right chord to write their own little piece of history.

In Uganda, hosts Vipers SC lost 2-0 at home to Algerian side CS Constantine.

Second half goals from Adil Djabout and Walid Ben Cherifia saw the Algerians progress into the group stages on a 3-0 aggregate scoreline.

Ismaily vs. Zamalek
Ismaily vs. Zamalek
In the Confederation Cup, defending champions Raja Casablanca went down 1-0 away at Gabonese side Cercle Mberi but progressed to the play-offs 5-1 on aggregate.

It was a shocking defeat for the Moroccans but the healthy 5-0 first leg win pushed them to the next round.

Last season’s semi-finalists Al Masry were sent packing out of the Confederation Cup by Burkinabe side Salitas following a 0-0 draw in Ouagadougou.

After being stunned 2-0 at home last week, Al Masry could not overturn the contest and reeled out of the tournament as they continued with a downward spiral following the departure of Egyptian legend and coach Hossam Hassan who led them last term.

RSB Berkane reached the play-off round after a 1-0 win over Al Ittihad Tripoli away from home.

Omar Namsaoui grabbed the all-important goal that saw Berkane record a 4-0 aggregate victory.

In Abidjan, San Pedro beat Daring Club Motema Pembe 2-0 to progress to the play-offs.

Having forced a 1-1 draw away in the first leg, a brace by Oussou Konan helped San Pedro finish off their Congolese opponents at home.

Earlier on Friday, Angolan giants Petro Atletico surged into the play-offs with a 1-0 home win over Nyuki from DR Congo to register a 2-0 aggregate victory.

Tiago Azulao scored the only goal of the match to cap a good outing for Petro Atletico who won by the same scoreline away last week.

On Friday again, Etoile du Sahel confirmed their place in the group stages despite a 1-0 defeat by Stade d’Abidjan away in Ivory Coast.

Ranked the best team in the Confederation Cup, Etoile will not participate in the play-offs and will go straight into the group stage.

Soumaila Bakayoko had scored for Stade d’Abidjan but that was not enough for the Ivorian side to overturn the 3-0 defeat they had suffered in Sousse in the first leg.

Source: Michael Madyira