Karim Laaribi brace beaks Asante’s hearts

Karim Laaribi brace beaks Asante’s hearts
Zied Boughattas of Etoile Sahel celebrates

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Sep 29, 2019. 19:00

Asante Kotoko’s hopes of qualifying for the group phase of the 2019/20 CAF Champions League were dashed on Sunday evening when they went down 3-0 away to Etoile du Sahel in Monastir.

The Porcupine Warriors held a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Kumasi earlier in the month, but ESS overturned the deficit – thanks in the main to two goals from Karim Laaribi.

The result sees the Tunisians advance, while Asante miss out on becoming the first Ghanaian club to reach the group stage since Berekum Chelsea in 2012.

Etoile claimed the lead on the day – and halved the deficit on aggregate – when Mortada Ben Ouannes scored from a debatable penalty in the 25th minute.

Asante held their own for the rest of the half and went into the interval with a 2-1 lead overall, but midway through the second stanza ESS struck again, with Karim Laaribi netting to make it 2-0 on the night and 2-2 overall.

The Tunisian side upped the pressure as the minutes ticked down, but they were dealt a major blow in the 80th minute when Ben Aziza was sent off, reducing them to 10 men.

Yet despite their numerical disadvantage, Etoile scored again and went 3-2 ahead on aggregate in the 86th minute, with another goal from Laaribi.

The North African side was able to see out the remainder of the game and claim a famous come-from-behind victory in the tie.

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