Esperance Sportive de Tunis player Anice Badri (L) and Township Rollers player Ademibi Rdjae (R) fight for the ball during the CAF Champions League soccer match between Espérance sportive de Tunis of Tunisia and Township Rollers of Botswana at the Olympic Stadium Rades in Tunis, Tunisia, 15 May 2018. EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA
Tuesday Aug 28, 2018. 23:07
Esperance de Tunis wrapped up their group stage in the 2018 CAF Champions League with a 0-0 draw away to Township Rollers at the National Stadium in Gaborone on Tuesday night.
The Botswana side was only playing for pride, having already been eliminated from quarterfinal contention, while the Tunisians were guaranteed a place in the last eight regardless of the result.
The stalemate means the Blood and Gold finished second in Group A on 11 points, trailing Al Ahly – who defeated KCCA 4-3 in a thriller in Egypt to end with 13 points – while Popa ended last with four points.
The first clear chance of the match went the way of Esperance in the 35th minute, as a corner kick found Haythem Jouini unmarked but he put his header over the crossbar.
At the other end of the field, Rollers struggled to create chances with which to test visiting goalkeeper Rami Jeridi, leaving the score line blank at the interval.
The second half continued in much the same fashion, with Rollers looking to shuffle their pack and make something happen with the introduction of Ofentse Nato in the 68th minute.
Yet the lacklustre nature of the game continued right up to the final whistle, with the teams happy to settle for a share of the spoils.
Rollers will have to wait until 2019 to return to continental competition, while Esperance have joined Al Ahly, TP Mazembe, ES Setif, Wydad Casablanca, Horoya, Etoile du Sahel and Primeiro de Agosto in the quarterfinal draw.
Township Rollers 0
Esperance de Tunis 0
Rollers: Wagarle, Tshireletso (Nato 68’), Gaolaolwe, Mathuma, Mohutsiwa (Monyake 80’), Mothabankwe, Boy (Mfila 86’), Ntege, Mogorosi, Ditshupo, Sikele
Esperance: Jeridi, Ben Mahmoud, Dhaouadi, Derbali, Ben Mohamed, Ben Sghaier (Rjaibi 84’), El Meskini, Bguir, Jouini, Badri, Khenissi