USM Alger of Algeria surged into the Caf Confederation Cup group phase for the first time by trouncing Plateau United of Nigeria 4-0 Tuesday in a playoff second leg.
The Algiers club advanced 5-2 on aggregate to the 16-club mini-league stage after losing the first leg 2-1 in Lagos 10 days ago.
Oussama Darfalou put USM ahead on 28 minutes in the Algerian capital and scored again three minutes after half-time to give the 2015 CF Champions League runners-up a 3-0 lead.
Kaddour Beldjilali after 43 minutes and Mohamed Benkhemassa nine minutes from time were the other USM scorers.
CR Belouizdad, the other Algerian challengers in the second-tier African club competition, were held 0-0 at home by ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast and bowed out having lost 1-0 away.
The result confirmed the good away record of Abidjan-based former African champions ASEC in Caf competitions this season.
They drew in Benin and won in Zambia in the Champions League before being relegated to the Confederation Cup after a shock home defeat.
ASEC won the Champions League in 1998 and lifted Caf Super Cup the following year, but have made little impact in African competitions since.
AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo spectacularly clinched a group place for the first time since 2009 by overwhelming La Mancha of Congo Brazzaville 5-1 in Pointe-Noire.
The result was unexpected as 1973 African champions V Club needed a late goal to snatch a 1-0 first-leg victory in Kinshasa.
Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele gave V Club an early lead in the Atlantic port city and Guy Mbenza levelled before half-time to offer Mancha a glimmer of hope.
But after Mundele struck again on the hour, his club finished the match strongly with three goals in six minutes.
Al Masry of Egypt secured a group place for the first time after edging CF Mounana of Gabon 2-1 in Port Said after the first leg ended 1-1 in central Africa.
Mohamed Koffi, one of two Burkina Faso internationals in the Masry line-up, nodded the home side ahead on 59 minutes.
Louis Autchanga equalised on the night and on aggregate soon after only for team-mate Dieudonne Nkoume to concede an own-goal 15 minutes from time.
A further 12 second legs are scheduled for Wednesday, including 2017 runners-up SuperSport United of South Africa hosting Gor Mahia of Kenya and hoping to overcome a 1-0 deficit. AFP