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CAF Champions League: Esperance Seal Quarter Final Berth as Platinum Hold Pirates

Defending Champions Esperance de Tunis became the first team to book a spot in the 2018/2019 CAF Champions League quarter-finals.

Defending Champions Esperance de Tunis became the first team to book a spot in the 2018/2019 CAF Champions League quarter-finals after defeating Group B rivals Horoya AC 2-0 at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Friday night.

Moine Chabaani’s side started the brighter of the two teams and came close to taking the lead in the seventh minute, but skipper Anice Badri’s curling effort went inches wide of the mark.

The home side maintained their high tempo and almost broke the deadlock minutes later but defender Godfred Asante did well to thwart out the danger posed by defender Sameh Derbali.

The Blood and Gold finally broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute when Captain Khalil Chemmam saw his cross turned into the net by Horoya defender Marius Assoko.

Horoya had a chance to level the matters minutes before the half-time break, but Oncasey Mandela sent his shot straight to goalkeeper Rami Jeridi.

The second half saw Esperance dominate in a similar manner to that for the first, with Chemmam, again coming close to extending the lead for his side just after the restart.

Horoya then had a share of procession and will have themselves to blame as they carved out sumptuous scoring opportunities that were never converted.

The Guinea champions laid siege on Esperance’s goal mouth but it seems they had left live ammunition in the armoury as they failed to breach Tunisian giants’ backline, with the woodwork on one occasion coming to the rescue.

However, Esperance were able to add to their advantage in the dying stages, with midfielder Franck Kom sending an effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Moussa Camara in the 83rd minute to secure a 2-0 victory for the hosts.

Elsewhere in Orlando Stadium, FC Platinum of Zimbabwe held South African giants Orlando Pirates to a 2-2 draw.

The result that saw the Buccaneers remain third while the Platinum miners remained at the bottom of Group B with just a single point.

The Sea Robbers looked to suffer an early setback when Da Silva conceded a penalty following a handball. Wayne Sandilands though dived to the right to deny Never Tigere.

The Platinum miners launched an attack moments later and they did take the lead when Tigere’s deflected effort beat Sandilands to make it 1-0 to Platinum three minutes before the half-hour mark.

Ten minutes later Rainsome Pavari made it 2-0 to Platinum after some good work by Perfect Chikwende.

Bucs finally sliced the deficit in half through Thembinkosi Lorch on the 81st minutes before completing the comeback through Zambian forward Augustine Mulenga in the final five minutes.

Pirates are now third in Group B and need a win in their last game to stand any chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

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