CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Anayo Iwuala helps Esperance go unbeaten in group stage finale

Anayo Iwuala scored for the second consecutive match in the CAF Champions League with a goal and an assist on Matchday 6

Esperance de Tunis are flying high in the CAF Champions League going undefeated in 6 group matches (IMAGO/Zuma Wire)

Nigerian forward Anayo Iwuala was in top form for Esperance de Tunis on Saturday as the Tunisian side defeated CR Belouizdad 2-1 to claim the top spot in Group C.

Iwuala contributed a goal and an assist as Esperance picked up a much-needed three points that took their points tally to 14, three more than their Algerian opponents.

Esperance and Belouizdad had secured their quarterfinal qualification since Matchday 5 but there was still all to play for at the Hammadi Agrebi Stadium on Saturday to determine who wins the group.

CR Belouizdad took an early lead in the match through Houssem Mrezigue in just the 2nd minute of the game.

Iwuala then fashioned out the chance to level the scores, providing the assist for Amine Ben Hamida to grab the equaliser in the 13th minute.

The former Enyimba star then got on the scoresheet himself just four minutes later, finishing off a Ghailene Chaalali pass to put Esperance ahead for the first time in the match.

The scores stayed that way till the end of the match while Iwuala and his strike partner and Nigerian compatriot Kingsley Eduwo both left the pitch in the 81st minute.

Wydad Casablanca thrashed Petro de Luanda 5-1 at the Mohammed V Stadium on Saturday to confirm their status as the top dogs in Group D.

Both teams had qualified for the last eight but the top position was up for grabs with only one point separating both sides going into Matchday 6.

Wydad Casablanca raced into a 3-0 lead within the first 32 minutes through Juvhel Tsoumou (11'), Achraf Dan (29'), and Zouhair El Moutaraji (32') to put the result beyond doubt.

Aymanne El Hassouni extended Casablanca's lead in the 56th minute while Pedro Pinto pulled one back for Petro de Luanda in the 63rd minute before Muaid Ellafi made it 5-1 in the 71st minute.

Wydad Casablanca finished top of the group with 15 points from five (5) wins and one (1) defeat while Petro de Luanda finished with 11 points from three (3) wins, two (2) draws, and one (1) loss.

Mamelodi Sundowns rounded off an impressive group stage campaign with a commanding 3-0 victory over Al Merrikh at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

'The Brazilians' went unbeaten in the group stage, picking up 16 points from five (5) wins and one (1) draw despite being in the same group as defending champions Al Ahly.

On the night, George Malukela opened the scoring for Sundowns with a 15th-minute towering header from a corner kick.

Amethyst Bradley Ralani then shone in the second half, scoring Sundowns' second goal in the 66th minute before turning provider in the 72nd minute for Kermit Erasmus.

Al Merrikh are already out of the competition with only four (4) points from their six (6) group matches to finish bottom of the group.

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