Despite trailing after the first leg of the semi-finals, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa saw off ZESCO United of Zambia 3-2 on aggregate, while Zemalek survived a 5-2 second-leg loss to prevail 6-5 against Wydad Casablanca across the two meetings.
Wydad had been blown away in Egypt, losing 4-0 to prompt the sacking of manager John Toshack, but two headers in the opening 18 minutes of the return leg offered some hope of a stunning turnaround.
Ismail El Haddad laid on the opener from a dazzling left-win run and cross, with William Jebor the benefactor, before adding the second himself when Salah Saidi centred.
Zemalek hit back with Basem Morsi bundling the ball across the line, but more fine work from El Haddad created another for Jebor to restore Wydad’s two-goal lead on the night.
Still chasing down a deficit that had been extended by the away goal, Fabrice Ondama volleyed home a fourth and added another from the penalty spot.
However, Wydad’s commendable fightback was finally halted with nine minutes remaining as the lively Stanley Ohawuchi clinched the tie.
Sundowns, meanwhile, had been 2-1 behind going into their home leg against United, but Khama Billiat’s late away goal gave the South African outfit a platform for a 2-0 win in Pretoria.
Anthony Laffor fired Sundowns into the lead after just five minutes, while Percy Tau looped a header into the net from Tebogo Langerman’s cross in the second half to seal his side’s progression.