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Esperance Follow Sundowns Into CAF Champions League Group Stages

Esperance de Tunis survived a threatening scare to defeat Elect Sport 2-1 and advance to the 2019/2020 CAF Champions League group stages.

Esperance de Tunis survived a threatening scare to defeat Elect Sport 2-1 and advance to the 2019/2020 CAF Champions League group stages.

The trophy holders become the third qualifiers after South African club Mamelodi Sundowns who booked their spot by thrashing Cote d’Or 11-1 in the second leg match played at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The other twelve qualifiers will be known on Saturday and Sunday after the second leg fixtures set to be played in various venues across the continent.

Esperance trailed for almost 80 minutes after Ibrahim Hassan’s rare attack, but second-half goals from Ibrahima Quatarra and Abdelraouf Benguit spared the blushes of the Blood and Gold.

Hamdou Houni, who was a thorn in the Chadian outfit could have scored with just three minutes gone but headed off a Kwame Bonsu corner ball.

Houni again wasted a golden chance in the 19th minute when he fired a good chance over the crossbar.

Adoum Deffallah saved Wattara’s first effort from point-blank range, before producing another fine block from the rebound to keep Esperance scoreless.

In the 36th minute, Ibrahim Hassan fired Elect Sport into the lead but Ibrahima Quatarra replied for defending champions in the 80th minute before Benguit scored the winner with three minutes to the end of the match, as the Blood and Gold cruised into the group stages with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Elect Sport were a huge disappointment, failing to show the spirit and defensive organisation that earned them an unexpected draw at home.

In another match, Sundowns were ruthless as they thumped Seychelles outfit Cote d’Or 11-1 in the second leg played at Tshwane to secure a 16-1 aggregate win and a place in the group stages.

Themba Zwane opened the scoring in the ninth minute before Gaston Sirino slotted home from close range in the 19th minute.

Sibusiso Vilakazi scored two goals in quick succession to inside three minutes with a same classical close-range finish.

Goals continued to rain as Thapelo Morena got in on the act a few minutes before the half-time whistle rang out.

Motjeka Madisha joined the party in the 47th minute before first-half substitute Anele Ngcongca found the back of the net ten minutes later.

Zwane grabbed the ninth goal with 16 minutes remaining with a first-time finish inside the box to complete his brace. Three minutes later, Sirino delivered a teasing cross into the box that was turned towards the back of the net by the goalkeeper Beniot.

Cote d’Or did manage to pull a goal back 11 minutes before time from a rare attack, courtesy of Voavy.

Mauricio Affonso got a debut goal for Sundowns just two minutes after entering the field of play to make it 11-1 to the hosts.

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