Esperance de Tunis were defeated 1-0 by Primeiro de Agosto in the opening match of the teams’ 2018 CAF Champions League semifinal tie on Tuesday night.
The first leg match at the 11 November Stadium in Luanda was settled by a late goal from Pedro Bua of the Angolan hosts, leaving the Tunisians with plenty of work to do in the return game.
Agosto looked the stronger team through the first half, but struggled to create chances with which to test Esperance goalkeeper Rami Jridi.
However, on 29 minutes a great opportunity was presented to Geraldo after a cross from Bokamba passed through a crowded penalty area, but the attacker struck his shot wide of the mark.
For their part, the Tunisians were mostly restricted to speculative long-range efforts, with one such shot from Youcef Belaili flying over the crossbar in the 39th minute.
The second half continued in a similar fashion, with Agosto looking the more proactive team, while Esperance were happy to sit deep and keep the Angolans at arm’s length.
Yet Agosto substitute Pedro Bua changed the course of the game, picking up a loose ball after a collision in the penalty area and sending a long-range shot beyond the reach of Jridi to make it 1-0 in the 80th minute.
Four minutes later Esperance nearly claimed an equaliser, with substitute Saad Beguir knocking goalkeeper Cabaca off the ball before failing to pick out the unguarded net.
The North African side finished the game with 10 men after veteran defender Khalil Chamam picked up a second yellow card in injury time.
The match finished 1-0 in favour of Primeiro de Agosto, with the return leg will be played in Rades on October 23. The aggregate winners will face either Al Ahly or ES Setif in the final in November.
Primeiro de Agosto (0) 1 (Pedro 80’)
Esperance de Tunis 0
Agosto: Cabaca, Da Costa, Massunguna, Ungenda, Troco, Cafumana, Ganga, Bokamba (Pedro 69’), Akinfenwa (Afinfowoshe 89’), Geraldo, Jacques (Rasaq 77’)
Esperance: Jridi, Derbali, Dhaouadi, Chamam, Ben Mohamed, Kom, Coulibaly, Chaalali (Beguir 82’), Badri (Jouini 71’), Khenissi, Belaili (Mejri 62’)