Esper­ance come back for fa­mous CAF vic­tory

Sunday Times - - Stsport -

● Saad Bguir was the un­likely two-goal star as Esper­ance of Tu­nisia beat Al Ahly of Egypt 3-0 on Fri­day in Rades to win a third CAF Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle.

Bguir had been a re­serve for most of the African cam­paign, scor­ing just once, and started in the sec­ond leg of the fi­nal only be­cause Cameroo­nian Franck Kom was sus­pended. Af­ter he scored in each half, Anice Badri net­ted to give Esper­ance a 4-3 ag­gre­gate vic­tory af­ter los­ing the first leg 3-1 with Ahly con­vert­ing two con­tro­ver­sial penal­ties.

A dom­i­nant per­for­mance by the home team at the Stade Olympique de Rades ended a 10-match win­less run against Ahly in CAF com­pe­ti­tions since July 2011.

Af­ter a tense buildup with Esper­ance fu­ri­ous at the treat­ment they re­ceived in Egypt, the match passed with­out in­ci­dent be­fore the

60,000 crowd.

“This is a vic­tory that will re­main in my mem­o­ries,” said Bguir, who ded­i­cated the vic­tory to the sup­port­ers and for­mer coach Khaled Ben Yahia, who left Esper­ance af­ter they lost the first leg of a semi­fi­nal to Primeiro Agosto in An­gola and the club re­fused to say whether he quit or was sacked.

Tear­ful win­ning coach Moine Chaa­bani, pre­vi­ously an as­sis­tant to Ben Yahia, said: “There are some peo­ple who left me in life (who) I wished were here to­day.” The 37year-old han­dler and for­mer Esper­ance de­fender then moved from the mi­cro­phone with­out men­tion­ing who he was re­fer­ring to.

Esper­ance dom­i­nated the first half and scored a minute into stop­page time through Bguir. Bguir put Esper­ance two goals ahead on the night and in front over­all on away goals when he struck again on 54 min­utes.

Badri put the out­come beyond doubt on 86 min­utes.

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