Esperance Crowned Africa Champions
Esperance du Tunis crowned Africa champions after beating Al Ahly 4-3 on aggregate.
Tunisian side Esperance will represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2019 after defeating Egyptian giants Al Ahly 4-3 on aggregate in the CAF Champions League final.
Saad Bguir hit a brace for the Tunisians before Anice Badri sealed a perfect display in the second-leg of the final that took place at the Olympic stadium in Rades.
The Egyptian giants came into the clash with an advantage, having thrashed their North African counterparts 3-1 in Alexandria last weekend.
The visitors were without the services of striker Walid Azarou, who received a two-game ban from CAF for unsportsmanlike behavior in the first leg.
As expected, the hosts started the match on the front and clearly dominated the first stanza but failed to create scoring chances until Tunisia international Saad Beguir netted his first for the Red and Gold in the very last minute of the first-half.
Just nine minutes into the second-half Beguir completed his brace, heading home following a pin-point cross from the right to take the Tunisians in front on the away goals rule.
Al Ahly responded with a double change after the hour mark, with Salah Mohsen and Karim Nedved replacing Mohamed Nany and Mohamed Hussein.
The Red Devils’ best chance in the second half came in the 79th minute when Salah Mohsen went one-on-one with Moez Ben Cherifia, but the goalkeeper made the crucial save.
Badri scored Esperance’s third goal in the 86th minute after a great solo effort and then a very strong shot inside the penalty area for his eighth goal of the tournament.
Ahly pushed forward in search of a consolation but offered little in the way of a threat to the Esperance goal, and the home side were left to celebrate their third Champions League title after winning the tournament back in 1994 and 2011.
How they lined up:
Esperance de Tunis: Cherifia; Belaili (Meskini 80′), Chemmam, Coulibaly, Derbali, Chaalali, Ben Mohamed, Khenissi (Mejri 70′), Yakoubi, Badri, Beguir (Erbeia 62′).
Al Ahly: El Shenawy; El Demerdash (Nedved 62′), Samir, Coulibaly, Ashraf, Ashour, El Sulya (El Gaber 76′), Gaber (S.Mohsen 62′), Soliman, Mohareb and M.Mohsen.