CAF Champions League: Five star performers from the weekend's games

It was another engrossing weekend of action in the CAF Champions League, as three of the continent's top sides secured their progression to the quarter finals.

Contenders Etoile du Sahel, Esperance and Tout Puissant Mazembe all confirmed their progression with big results, but there were fascinating storylines and a series of star performances across Africa.

Here are five players who caught our eye during Champions League matchday four.

Gaston Sirino: There wasn't another African giant who needed a big result more than Mamelodi Sundowns this weekend, with the PSL heavyweights having taken just two points from their opening Group C fixtures.

They ultimately boosted their prospects of progression with a 2-1 victory over AS Togo-Port, putting them firmly back in the running for a spot in the quarters.

Pitso Mosimane owes a lot to forward Sirino, who netted the 11th-minute opener and again demonstrated why he can be a key man for the Brazilians following the departures of Percy Tau and Khama Billiat.

With Sirino suspended for the first game against Togo-Port, Downs lacked a cutting edge, but with the Uruguayan now back in the side, the reigning PSL champions can look forward to another long run in the competition.

Cheick Comara: Wydad Casablanca haven't yet secured their progress to the Last Eight, but after downing Horoya 2-0 on Saturday to move up to eight points, the reigning champions look like a good bet for the quarters...and beyond.

It was centre-back Comara who set them on their way to victory at the Stade Mohammed V, with the defender slamming a powerful header past Senegal's World Cup goalkeeper Khadim N'Diaye in the 12th minute.

Defensively, Comara continues to go from strength to strength at Wydad, and his partnership with Naim Aarab is one of the continent's best.

Even with the latter absent against Horoya, Comara still put on an excellent display of ruggedness and poise once again. When the elder player returns, Wydad will again demonstrate why they're the team to beat this year.

Beaubo Ungenda: It's intriguing to imagine how Ungenda's career might have gone had he remained at Orlando Pirates earlier in his career, having been such a pivotal player with his beloved Daring Club Motema Pembe and now with 1o de Agosto.

The centre-back was influential again this weekend, leading his Angolan side with passion and tenacity from the heart of the defence, while also netting a dramatic 98th-minute winner as they came back to beat ZESCO United 2-1.

It was a goal that's left Os Militares back in the top two places in Group D with two matches to go, and one suspects Congolese stopper Ungenda will surely be a key figure if they're to go deeper in this tournament than ever before.

Ismail El Haddad: Another Wydad player who deserves acknowledgement this weekend is El Haddad, who was outstanding as Horoya were put to the sword.

The 27-year-old was one of the unsung heroes of Morocco's African Nations Championship triumph earlier this year, and is year to earn a move abroad on the back of that tournament...unlike some of his teammates.

His performance in the Champions League this weekend, with his pinpoint accuracy carving up the Guineans time and time again, should prompt further interest in his services.

Galatasaray and Fenerbahce are reportedly monitoring his progress.

Maher Hannachi only signed for Etoile du Sahel from CS Sfaxien in May, but he's already proving to be an instant hit at the Tunisian giants.

This weekend he opened the scoring against Mbabane Swallows to set ESS on their way to a 2-0 victory and a spot in the quarter finals.

This effort followed on from his strike against the Swazi new boys in the previous round, and already, we may be witnessing the birth of a new cult hero at L'Etoile!