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2nd leg

Entente Setif vs Al Ahly 2:1
Esperance vs Primeiro de Agosto 4:2


Facts from

Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Tunisian heavyweights Esperance will battle it out for this year’s CAF Champions League title following their respective semi-final aggregate victories on Tuesday.

The evening’s first semi-final at Stade Olympique de Rades provided enthralling entertainment, with the balance of proceedings changing hands at a frenetic pace in a six-goal thriller.

Looking to become the first Angolan side to reach a Champions League final, visitors Primeiro de Agosto started the match with a narrow 1:0 first leg lead, and doubled that advantage just eight minutes in as Geraldo opened the scoring.

Esperance drew level on the night just six minutes later when they were awarded a penalty following a foul in the box, as Youcef Belaili sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to convert.

The Tunisians were in the ascendency, and after their fifth corner of the game, centre-back Mohamed Yacoubi headed home to give his side the lead on the night, and level the aggregate score at 2:2.

The Angolans, despite feeling the wrath of the intimidating home crowd, would not give up though, and drew level 20 minutes into the second half as Mongo Bokamba’s long-range free-kick slipped under the hands of goalkeeper Rami Jridi.

Esperance now trailed 3:2 on aggregate and needed to score, and did so 10 minutes later as Haythem Jouini slotted home from close range, levelling the aggregate scoreline at 3:3, yet Primeiro were still in the pound seats with their two away goals.

Backed by the boisterous crowd, Esperance finally found the winner with just five minutes left on the clock as Anice Badri bulldozed his way through to poke home, causing wild celebrations among the frenzied home supporters.

Esperance ended 4:2 victors on the night and 4:3 winners on aggregate, booking a place in the final for the first time since 2012 as they target a third Champions League crown in their history.

In Tuesday’s second semi-final, Al Ahly visited Algeria’s ES Setif with a 2:0 advantage from the first leg, and went a further goal in front as Walid Soliman’s second half strike put the Egyptians firmly in front in the tie.

They would have to ensure a nervy last 25 minutes however, as the hosts pulled two goals back – a long-range strike by Mohamed Bakir was fumbled by the keeper, with South African referee Victor Gomes consulting his officials before deeming that the ball had crossed the line, following which an unmarked Houssam Ghacha netted his side’s second moments after coming on as a substitute to give his side a chance.

Yet Al Ahly stood firm, holding on to their 3:2 aggregate lead to book their spot in a 12th Champions League final as they look to seal a record ninth continental crown.



26 Oct 2018
( + wikipedia)

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