Connect with us

CAF Champions League

Defending Champions Mamelodi Sundowner and Tunisian Favorites Esperance Sportive Tunis, Get a Shocking Exit

South African club Mamelodi Sundowns has officially been relinquished of its title as kings of the continent after they were eliminated out of the Total CAF Champions League (CCL) by Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca.

Salah Eddine Saidi’s lone goal stood out for Casablanca, forcing the match into post-match kicks consequently awarding the Moroccans a ticket to the semi-finals.

Elsewhere in Tunis, disenchantment etched on the faces of supporters at the shocking exit of Esperance Sportif Tunis (ESS) from the CCL.

The cash-wielding Tunisian champions spent big this summer to the extent of taking the trouble of bringing Cameroon-born, Frank Kom in a controversy-marred move.

Esperance’s recruitment drive was to bolster its squad in a bid to retain the domestic title with a specific focus on reclaiming the Champions League however, serial winners Al Ahly had other ideas, opting to throw a spanner in Esperance’s work.

Glum faces covered the Olympique de Rades at the end of full-time in the aftermath of the North African derby with ESS booted out of the CCL.

The Eagles – Ahly – narrowly sailed through to the semis on 4-3 aggregate after Saturday’s second-leg game wrapped up in a 2-1 win over hosts ESS.

Like the first-leg, the return visit was never one lacking in flair with high stakes to play for. Home side ESS, required to stamp its dominance early and they did just that through goal-poacher Taha Yassine Khenissi.

Last season’s leading goal-scorer, Yassine nailed in the opening goal via the spot-kick in the 40th minute, a lead they maintained going into the break.

The restart of the game had the visitors switching from their cautious approach in the first-half to an-all surging side, pushing ESS into committing players forward, compromising their defense and paving the way for 27-year-old Ahly’s Ali Maaloul to equalize.

Nigeria’s Oluwafemei Junior Ajayi was the match winner for the Egyptians after climbing off the bench to convert teammate Maaloul’s assist for the eventual winning goal.

In another of Saturday’s showdown, Mozambique’s Ferroviaro Beira also bowed out of the CCL following a one-all stalemate with Algeria’s USM Alger, at the Al Jaza’ir stadium.

The first meeting, held at the Estadio do Chiveve, saw the two sides grind it out in a 1-1 affair, in Maputo.



Featured Photo: Gallo Images

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in CAF Champions League

Translate »