Primeiro de Agosto 90 Minutes Away from CAF Champions League History
Angolan heavyweights Primeiro de Agosto on the verge of becoming the first Angolan side to reach a CAF Champions League Final.
Angolan heavyweights Primeiro de Agosto are 90 minutes away from becoming the first Angolan side to reach a CAF Champions League Final.
The minnows take a narrow 1-0 lead into the second leg of the CAF Champions League semifinal showdown against Esperance in Tunisia hoping to hold on and make history. The closest a club from Angola has come to reaching the final was in 2001 when Petro Atletico lost to Mamelodi Sundowns on penalties.
Agosto’s journey hasn’t been an easy one. They scrapped through the group stages and survived a late scare in the final group stage match, scoring eight minutes into stoppage time to book a knock out phase spot.
They, however, rallied together in the quarter-finals to knock out favorites TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo and haven’t looked back.
For Primeiro de Agosto, this will be the biggest match in their club’s history, and their coach hopes the match referee Janny Sikazwe will play the most significant role in the encounter.
“The first leg referee was terrible and hurt us a lot; I do not fear Esperance in Tunisia, only other factors such as the match officiating,” he told AFP.
“We beat one of the best clubs in Africa, in Luanda and continue to dream about creating history by becoming the first Angolan side to reach the Champions League final.”
For Esperance, this match will be a test to determine whether the new manager has what it takes to lead the North African heavyweights to another final.
The Tunisian champions fired their head coach Khalid Ben Yahia Yahia after a domestic loss following the defeat in Angola and promoted his assistant Moin Chabani.
Chabani has been given an immediate task of at least leading the 1994 and 2011 champions to another CAF Champions League final.
The new handler might be well conversant with the team, but Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto is not a side to take lightly. They have, over time, proved they can endure and withstand pressure, capitalize on their chances, and can frustrate a more talented team with their persistent, organized play.
On what motivates Agosto, the players have been open about their dreams to make history. Inspired by a sense of destiny, they have promised to put up a fight like no other.
“It was more than a war in Lubumbashi because we knew we were up against formidable opponents who are a household name in Africa. We wanted to change our own story too, and I am delighted we succeeded,” said Agosto defender Yisa Anifowoshe.
Primeiro de Agosto have won over many admirers during this continental run, and now have the foundation to build a project that can compete on the continental level.
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