Defending champions Esperance leads the pack of big guns to have sealed their place at the next round of the 2012 Orange CAF Champions League.

 Egyptian giants Al-Ahly and Zamalek are also through to the 1/8th round of the premier continental club championship just as Etoile du Sahel, Congolese side TP Mazembe, Al Hilal and Al Merrikh both from Sudan as well as Cameroonian giants, Coton Sport.

The major casualties are former winners' Raja Athletic Club of Morocco and AS Vita Club of DR Congo, whose hopes were dashed by Ghanaian newcomers Berekum Chelsea and ASO Chlef of Algeria respectively.

Other notable faces on the casualty list are Africa Sports of Cote d'Ivoire and Algerian side, JSM Bejaia.

For Esperance, they remained on course to defend their title after coming from behind to beat Gambian champions, Brikama United in Rades on Friday. Goals from Wajdi Bouazzi, Youssef Msakni and Karim Aouadhi proved enough for the 'Blood and Gold' after Modo Lamin Sawo had shot the visitors into the lead on 25 minutes. Esperance advanced 4-2 on aggregate.

In the Mediterranean city of Sousse, Etoile du Sahel killed off the hopes yet again of Rwandan champions APR with a 3-2 win to advance by the same margin on aggregate. Lasaad Jaziri scored a brace whilst Hamed Namouchi netted the other goal whilst Dan Wagaluka and Faty Papy were on target for the Rwandan Army team.

The two halves of the Sudanese city, Omdurman, were kept alive during the weekend with archrivals Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh in action. On Friday, Hilal thrashed DFC 8e Arrondisement of Central African Republic 5-1 with a brace each from Mudathir Eltaib 'Careca' and Edward Sadomba, with Saif Eldin Masawi completing the goal harvest. The 'Blue Waves' marched on 8-1 on aggregate.

Merrikh also registered a 3-0 win over Platinum FC of Zimbabwe to progress 5-2 on aggregate. Nigeria-import Kelechi Osunwa scored twice whilst Zambia-import scored the other goal from the spot.

Ivorian debutants AFAD recorded a 3-0 win over JSM Bejaia at the Stade Robert Champroux in Abidjan on Saturday. Koaukou Amoro scored once in each half whilst Cheik Ahmed Moukoro fired the other to complete a double over their guests and qualify on 5-1 on aggregate.

In Harare, Takesure Chinyama's 18th minute guided Dynamos to a lone goal victory over Liga Muculmana of Mozambique. The 1998 losing finalists advanced 3-2 on aggregate.

Veteran Jacques Haman scored the only goal in Garoua as Coton Sport of Cameroon overpowered Dolphins of Nigeria to win on the away goal rule after a 2-2 tie.

Elsewhere, Sunshine Stars ensured Nigeria was represented at the next round with a 3-0 thrashing of Recreativo do Libolo of Angola and qualify on the away goal rule after a 4-4 tie.

Midfielder Tresor Mputu Mabi scored a hat-trick, two goals from Given Singuluma and the other from Rainford Kalaba powered Mazembe to a 5-0 win over Power Dynamos of Zambia. The four-time winners went through 7-1 on aggregate.

The other representative from DR Congo, AS Vita crashed out after losing 2-3 to ASO Chlef in Kinshasa. The result marked the only win away from home during the weekend matches. The Algerians led 2-0 at half time and held on to victory to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

A late strike by Amr Zaki proved costly for Africa Sports despite managing a 2-1 win over Zamalek. The Cairo giants advanced on the away goal as the tie ended 2-2.

Zamalek's archrivals Al-Ahly, made mince meat of Ethiopian Coffee at the Cairo International Stadium. Playmaker Mohamed Aboutreika scored twice in the second half after Fabio Junior had scored the opener on seven minutes.

It was a bitter-sweet feeling for Moroccan football as Raja Athletic Club crashed out, whilst MAS Fez progressed. Raja Athletic Club beat Ghanaian champions Berekum Chelsea 3-0 in Casablanca but it was little enough to cancel out the 0-5 loss in the first leg. Mohamed Oulhaj, Hassan Tair and Yassine Salhi scored in the second half for the former winners who bid farewell 5-3 on aggregate.

MAS Fez, holders of the Orange CAF Confederation Cup also beat Horoya of Guinea 3-0 thanks to a brace from Hamza Abourazzak and the other from Abdelhadi Halhoul. MAS Fez progressed 4-1 on aggregate.

The matches involving Stade Malien (Mali) - Tonnerre (Benin) and Djoliba AC (Mali) and URA (Uganda) has been rescheduled due to the civil unrest in Mali.