Simisani Mathumo of Township Rollers wins header against Paul Derrick Nsibambi of KCCA during the 2018 CAF Champions League football match between Township Rollers and KCCA at the National Stadium, Gaborone, Botswana on 04 May 2018 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Monday May 14, 2018. 18:00
Township Rollers will have their mettle truly tested when they face hosts Esperance de Tunis in a CAF Champions League Group A clash at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Tuesday night, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.
Rollers opened their first-ever group stage campaign in the Champions League with a 1-0 home win over Uganda’s KCCA on May 4, as Lemponye Tshireletso’s first-half goal proved decisive. The result sees the Botswana side top of the log after Matchday 1.
“It was a tough match of international standard, and we did everything we needed to win it,” said Tshireletso in the wake of the victory over Kampala, as quoted by his club’s official website.
He added, “We needed to make a good start to the group, and we will keep on taking it one game at a time.”
Esperance are placed third on the log, but their first result was definitely a good one: a goalless draw away to Egyptian giants and perennial Champions League contenders Al Ahly at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria.
Given that their toughest away game of the group stage is over and done with, EST can now focus on accumulating enough points to book a spot in the quarterfinals – starting with what they will view as a must-win at home to Rollers.
“A draw against this quality of opponent is good to take,” said Blood and Gold assistant coach Mouine Chaabani after the stalemate at Ahly. “Both teams did the tactical essentials because each one tried not to lose. As for the physicality of the match, this happens everywhere in the big leagues.”
The other Group A Matchday 2 fixture sees KCCA host Al Ahly in Kampala earlier the same day.