Karim El Berkaoui struck a hat-trick as Moroccan side Hassania Agadir thrashed Libyan outfit El Nasr 5-0 at the Petro Sport Stadium in Cairo on Sunday to put one foot into the semi-finals.
The three-goal haul saw El Berkaoui take his tournament tally to seven with Malick Cisse adding a late brace to seal the victory.
With the healthy first leg advantage away from home, HUSA head back home with little pressure ahead of the return tie next weekend as they look to qualify for the last four for the first time ever.
HUSA were in total dominance against their hosts who have been playing their home ties in Egypt.
They went into the lead after nine minutes when El Berkaoui’s shot from the edge of the area was deflected beyond the keeper’s reach.
The Moroccans went 2-0 up just five minutes later, the red hot El Berkaoui scoring his second of the evening.
He tapped home with a low left foot shot on the second bite of the cherry after his penalty following Muad Alamami’s foul on Youssef Alfahli inside the box was initially saved by the keeper.
Nasr were out of sorts and struggled to pose any danger to the Moroccans as they were restricted to playing inside their own half.
They went 3-0 up just 10 minutes into the second half when the dangerman struck a beauty of a shot from 35 yards out after being teed up by Cisse with the keeper flying to his right in vain.
On the hour mark, HUSA had two back to back chances. First, Alfahli’s shot from the edge of the area was turned behind well for a corner by the Nasr keeper.
From the resultant set piece, El Berkaoui’s header at the near post brushed the outside of the post.
With comfort in their arms, the visitors played well guarded but with no pressure, passing the ball around the pack with ease.
That handbrake approach almost cost them when Muetaz Husayn sneaked behind the defense on the left, but his shot rolled across the face of goal.
That threat seemed to have awoken HUSA’s slumber as they stepped back up with Cisse scoring twice within 10 minutes.
He made it 4-0 with a venomous strike that came off the underside of the bar in the 77th minute to put the game beyond reach for the Libyans.
In the 87th, he put the game to bed with another brilliant finish, shooting the ball into the bottom left after running into a brilliant Bakary Mane pass from deep in his own half.