CAF C/L: Narrow win for Esperance

Esperance edged Etoile Sahel 2-1 on Saturday in a first-leg showdown CAF Champions League between Tunisian clubs.

All the goals at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on the outskirts of Tunis came from defenders during a weekend when no striker found the net in the premier African club competition.

Chamseddine Dhaouadi put Esperance ahead after only two minutes, Ammar Jemal equalised just before the half-hour and Sameh Derbali snatched the 77th-minute winner.

The narrow win leaves the most intriguing of the last-eight ties delicately balanced ahead of the return match in Mediterranean resort Sousse next Friday.

In the other Saturday quarter-final, a dour struggle between Primeiro Agosto of Angola and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo ended 0-0 in Luanda.

There were also no goals in the first Friday match with Horoya of Guinea held in Conakry by record eight-time African champions Al Ahly of Egypt.

There was an electric atmosphere in Rades with a chase between security personnel and a streaker adding to the drama. Dhaouadi nodded twice champions Esperance ahead off a free-kick before another centre-back, Jemal, maintained his remarkable record of scoring vital CAF goals.

Etoile, the only team to win all five current and past CAF club competitions, looked like they might sneak a draw until full-back Derbali struck.

Meanwhile, there was far less excitement for a near-capacity crowd in a 50,000-seat Angolan stadium as Primeiro and Mazembe got bogged down in a largely midfield battle.-AFP

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