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Football | CAF Champions League

Hossam Ashour and Ali Machani © Backpagepix

Al Ahly beat Esperance to advance

Al Ahly defeated Esperance de Tunis 2-1 in the 2017 CAF Champions League encounter quarterfinal second-leg match at the Stade Olympique de Radès on Saturday.

The victory sees the Egyptian giants qualify for the semifinals after winning the tie 4-3 on aggregate, while Tunisia's Esperance bow out of the tournament.

The two sides went into the encounter having drawn 2-2 in the first-leg match in Alexandria, Egypt, last weekend.

The visitors threatened first through Moamen Zakaria, who forced Esperance goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia into an early save two minutes into the game.

However, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock after they were awarded a penalty six minutes before the halftime break.

Taha Yassine Khenissi, who had netted in the first-leg match, stepped up and hit the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Esperance.

The score was 1-0 to Esperance at halftime and the Blood and Gold were leading 3-2 on aggregate against the Red Devils.

However, it took only five minutes for Al Ahly, the record eight-time winners, to level matters following a goalkeeping error by Tunisia international Ben Cherifia.

The keeper failed to handle Abdallah El Said's low cross and Ali Maaloul tapped into an empty net to make it 1-1 for Al Ahly.

The Red Devils then pushed for their second goal of the match and they deservedly took the lead in the 62nd minute.

Maaloul turned provider as his cross found Junior Ajayi, who headed past Ben Cherifia to make it 2-0 to Al Ahly.

Esperance coach Faouzi Benzarti then introduced Houcine Errabei as the hosts searched for the equalising goal in the closing stages.

However, Al Ahly were solid at the back in the dying minutes of the encounter and they secured a 2-1 win over Esperance.

Esperance (1) 1 (Khenissi 40')

Al Ahly (0) 2 (Maaloul 50', Ajayi 62')


Esperance: Ben Cherifia, Chemmam (Errabei 70'), M'barki, Dhaouadi, Machani, Kom (Sassi 67'), Bguir, Coulibaly, Chalali, Badri (Ben Youssef 84'), Khenissi.

Al Ahly: Ekramy; Fathi, Rabia, Nagiub, Maaloul; Ashour, El-Sulaya; Moamen (Ajayi 46'), Abdallah, Walid (Hesham 82'), Azarou (Hany 92').


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