South African debutants Marumo Gallants have progressed to the quarter finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup despite suffering a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Libya’s Al Akhdar.
Gallants were assured of a place in the last eight even prior to kick off after second placed USM Alger had played to a 1-1 draw with St Eloi Lupopo who are third. They are on nine points, with a four point buffer to third place with one round left in the group.
Heading into the final round, Alger, Akhdar and Lupopo will be jostling for the single remaining qualification slot from the group. Alger are on eight points and will progress with just a draw against Akhdar while the latter are in a must win situation.
Lupopo will be away to Gallants and also must win the match and hope the Libyans beat Alger by a lower score for them to sneak through.
Akhdar put themselves into the battle to qualify with a brilliant performance, avenging for a similar loss they suffered against Gallants in South Africa.
Anas Alraheem gave the Libyans a 31st minute lead, one they held on till halftime. In the second half, they continued with their dominance and doubled their advantage five minutes after the restart through Ary Papel’s goal.
Gallants momentarily fought back into the game and they halved the deficit through Mpho Mvelase. However, Akhdar were determined to pick out a win and Papel restored their two-goal cushion in the 66th minute before he set up Mohamed Makari for the fourth seven minutes later.