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Esperance Stun Belouizdad To Advance

Esperance de Tunis beat CR Belouizdad 2-0 in the 2020/2021 CAF Champions League quarter-final second-leg match at the Stade Olympique de Rades on Saturday night.

Tunisia’s Esperance advanced to the semi-finals after defeating the Algerian side 3-2 on penalties following a 2-2 stalemate on aggregate.

Both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball early on as they squandered possession with some poor passing, especially in the final third.

Consequently, the first decent effort on goal only came in the 17th minute courtesy of a well-taken free-kick from Ben Hamida, but the Belouizdad goalkeeper made a good save to deny him.

A minute later Esperance had another shot on goal when Anice Badri unleashed a thunderbolt from distance, but Toufik Moussaoui made a good save to keep the scores level.

On the half hour mark Hamza Belahouel tried his luck from long range once more, but he saw his effort sail narrowly wide of the target.

A minute before the break Hamdou Elhouni should have given Esperance the lead when he met a corner-kick from Hamdi Nagguez, but he headed inches over the crossbar.

The half ended 0-0.

Moussaoui came to the Red and Whites rescue five minutes into the second half, as he pulled off a save to keep out an effort from Ben Hamida.

Both sides exchanged efforts in the 57th minute, as Amir Sayoud was denied by Ben Charifia, before Moussaoui  was on hand to keep out Badri yet again.

Belouizdad continued to push for an opener and went close after 64th minutes when Tarikat forced Ben Cherifia into another save, before the midfielder fired wide two minutes later.

However, Esperance broke the deadlock 68th minute when Abdelraouf Benguit fired a left-footed effort past Moussaoui , after being teed up Badri

Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane then sealed the comeback in the 87th minute, as the Tunisa forward fired from home close range, with Bedrane picking up the assist.

The match ended 2-0 in favour of Esperance de Tunis  on the night and a penalty shootout followed as the tie was locked at 2-2 on aggregare.

Belouizdad missed three spot-kicks and Esperance won 3-2 on penalties – booking a place in the semi-finals where they will take on Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

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