Rollers look for last hurrah in Champions League

Rollers look for last hurrah in Champions League
epa06585757 Al Ahly player Abdallah Said (L) in action against CF Mounana player Ralph Bamba (R) during the African Champions League (CAF) Round of 32 match between Al Ahlyvs CF Mounana at international cairo Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, 06 March 2018. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Aug 27, 2018. 10:16

Township Rollers will look to exit the 2018 CAF Champions League on a high when they host Esperance de Tunis at the National Stadium in Gaborone on Tuesday, August 28, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.

Rollers come into the game having suffered a 1-0 loss away to Uganda’s KCCA on August 18. Patrick Kaddu scored the only goal of the game in Kampala, condemning the Botswana side to a fourth straight defeat in Group A.

Popa are rock bottom of the group on three points, but will look to at least have one last hurrah and claim a second win – adding it to their opening 1-0 triumph over KCCA in Gaborone back in early May.

Just reaching the group phase has been a remarkable achievement for Rollers (they were the first team from Botswana to achieve the feat) and coach Nikola Kavazovic, who is set to return from Serbia after attending to a family matter.

Esperance’s last Champions League outing saw them beaten 1-0 at home by Egyptian giants Al Ahly, with Walid Azaro scoring the only goal in their clash in Rades on August 17.

Despite the defeat, the Tunisian heavyweights are already safely through to the quarterfinals with a haul of 10 points. Ahly have the same number but currently occupy top spot thanks to their superior head-to-head record against the Blood and Gold.

This means Esperance’s hopes of topping the group (and therefore receiving a seeding for the quarterfinal draw) depend on the result of the other Group A match between Ahly and KCCA, which will be played simultaneously in Egypt.

The referee for the match in Gaborone is South African official Victor Gomes.

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