KINSHASA — Zamalek of Egypt forced a 0-0 draw at former winners Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo to narrowly reach the Caf Champions League final qualifying round.
Zamalek, winners of the title on five previous occasions, won the last-32 tie 1-0 on aggregate thanks to their slender lead from the first leg in Cairo.
The match at the 80 000-seat Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa was one of 16 ties reaching their conclusion.
Vita — who started slowly — struck the woodwork before a brilliant goal-line clearance from Mahmoud Fathallah rescued Zamalek. The Congolese continued to press after half time, with Burkina Faso-born Abdoulaye Cissé then wasting a late chance for Zamalek who held on for the draw.
The holders Al Ahly join Zamalek in the next round. Ahly beat Tusker of Kenya 2-0 to go through 4-1 overall.
Former champions Espérance of Tunisia, Orlando Pirates of South Africa, Recreativo Libolo of Angola and Stade Malien of Mali also progressed — but fans in Ghana will be bitterly disappointed after Asante Kotoko were knocked out.
Espérance, winners once and runners-up twice in the past three seasons, had to wait 88 minutes before Khalil Chemmam converted a penalty for a 1-0 win over Angolan visitors Primeiro Agosto — the same score they won by in Luanda.
Pirates, the only South African winners of the Champions League, edged Zanaco of Zambia 2-1 in Soweto after a 1-0 first-leg victory.
Libolo beat El Merreikh 2-1 in Sudan for a 4-2 overall success.
Another Sudanese club, Al Hilal were ousted by Sewe San Pedro of Ivory Coast the previous day. Al Hilal won the home leg 3-1, but went out 5-4 on aggregate.
Stade Malien of Mali overcame Casa Sport of Senegal 2-0 in Bamako having won the first leg 2-1. Morimakan Koita scored on the half-hour mark and Abdoulaye Sissoko added a second midway through the second half.
The 1988 title-holders Entente Setif of Algeria beat ASFA Yennenga of Burkina Faso 4-2 to go through 5-4 on aggregate.
There was a shock result in Kumasi as Asante Kotoko, winners in 1970 and 1983, drew 1-1 with JSM Bejaia of Algeria after the first leg had finished goal-less. The result means Kotoko go out on the away-goals rule.