The group stage of the 2022-23 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League began to take shape on Friday with the first four teams booking slots after winning the return fixtures of the second preliminary round.
Mamelodi Sundowns, CR Belouizdad, Petro de Luanda and Zamalek are the first four teams to confirm their place.
Sundowns, the 2016 Champions, earned another slot in the group phase with a well worked 8-1 victory over Seychelles champions La Passe, progressing with a massive 15-1 aggregate score. They had won the first leg 7-0 last weekend to put one foot in the group phase.
In the return tie, Cassius Mailula scored a hattrick, Gift Motupa two while Thapelo Morena, Hashim Domingo and Neo Maema scored one each. Morena opened the scoring after eight minutes unmarked at the back post before La Passe equalized in the 37th minute through Florent Rajaoniasy’s bouncing header off a cross from the right.
The visitors briefly had a dream of walking toe to toe with Sundowns, but that was quickly put out when Mailula scored the first of his three with a beautiful backheel from a cross on the left.
He added his second at the stroke of halftime for a 3-1 lead at the break before Sundowns could go on the rampage in the second half with five unanswered goals, completely outplaying their opponents.