CAF Champions League
Esperance de Tunis 4-2 Primeiro Agosto
Esperance advance 4-3 on aggregate
ES Setif 2-1 Al Ahly
Al Ahly advanced 3-2 on aggregate
Esperance de Tunis and Al Ahly will play in this year’s CAF Champions League final after making progress in the semifinals.
The two teams will be meeting for the third time this season after earlier facing off in the group stages. Both Al Ahly and Esperance were in group A alongside KCCA FC from Uganda and Township Rollers FC from Botswana.
Despite losing the first league 1-0 to Agosto away in Luanda, Angola, Esperance overturned the deficit in dramatic fashion to reach their first final since 2011.
The Tunisian outfit won the return leg at Stade Olympique de Rades 4-2 to advance 4-3 on aggregate.
Anice Badri, Mohammed Belaili, Haythem Jouni and Mohammad Yacoubi scored to guide Esperance past a stubborn and resilient Agosto side that scored through Geraldo and Mogo Bokambi.
The visitors took the lead through Geraldo to send an early scare for the Tunisian outfit but were able to level matter when Algerian forward Belaili converted from the spot after he was brought down inside the box by Jose Macaia, forcing Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe to award the hosts a penalty.
Esperance’s persistence continued and an unmarked Yacoubi dived to head in a cross from Badri on 27 minutes to make it 2-1.
Despite dominating proceedings, it was Agosto who equalised in the 64th minute through Congolese forward Bokamba. His long range ferocious free kick was fumbled by goalkeeper Jridi.
Agosto thought they had regained their lead but Bobo Ungenda’s goal was cancelled with referee Zikazwe calling for a foul on goalkeeper Jridi.
At 2-2, Esperance needed to score at least two more goals to guarantee their chances and it’s what they did exactly
Jouni who came off the bench scored the third for Esperance and the defining moment came five minutes to fulltime when Badri took advantage of a poor clearance by Ungenda to get the priceless goal.
In the other semifinal, despite losing 2-1 to ES Setif, Al Ahly advanced 3-2 on aggregate to reach their 12th final as they seek to win a record 9th CAF Champions League title.
The Egyptian giants will host the first leg of the final on 2nd November before making the trip to Tunisia for the return leg on 9th November 2018.