Esperance and Etoile renew rivalry
Friday Sep 11, 2015. 12:11
Etoile Sportive du Sahel will host fellow Tunisians Espérance de Tunis in Sousse on Saturday, in their final Group A outing of the Confederation Cup.
Already assured of a place in the semifinals of Africa’s second-tier clubs competitions, Etoile will now battle for top spot.
Tied on 10 points with Egyptian giants Al Ahly, who will welcome Stade Malien in Cairo at the same time, they need to defeat Espérance, and if possible by a big margin, to boost their chances of a first-place finish.
Faouzi Benzarti’s men will go into the game full of confidence after claiming their tenth Tunisia Cup, following a 4-3 victory over Stade Gabésien in the final of the competition.
Meanwhile, the ‘Blood and Gold’ will be playing for pride when they take on their rivals, after dropping out of the race for a semifinal berth.
With only three points gained from five games, the two-time African champions lost all chance of qualifying for the last four.
However, they will be determined to end their continental campaign on a high note against their rivals, who had defeated them 1-0 in Radès in the reverse fixture.
“It is our last game in this competition; and while we are already out, we will try to live up to the reputation of our club,” Espérance coach Ammar Souayah said at a press conference.
“A match between Espérance and Etoile is not just another game, it involves the club’s reputation.”
The ‘Blood and Gold’ will be heading to Sousse in the absence of defender Sameh Derbali and midfielder Elyes Jelassi due to injury, and suspended duo of Chamseddine Dhaouadi and Iheb Mbarki.
The match will kick off at Stade Olympique de Sousse at 21h00 CAT on Saturday 12 September 2015.