Etoile look to claim quarterfinal berth

Etoile look to claim quarterfinal berth
Etoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia player Alaya Brigui

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Jan 31, 2020. 11:00

Etoile du Sahel will look to claim a quarterfinal berth in the CAF Champions League when they host FC Platinum at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Saturday night, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

Etoile suffered a 1-0 loss away to Egyptian giants Al Ahly this past weekend, but they remain well-placed to advance.

The Tunisians are second on the Group B log on nine points – one behind Ahly and level with third-placed Al Hilal (but ranked ahead of the Sudanese side on head-to-head record).

Platinum, by contrast, are bottom of the log with just one point from five winless matches, and their mathematical chances of progression have long since disappeared.

The Zimbabweans lost 1-0 at home to Al Hilal last Saturday, conceding a late goal to Mohamed Eid to suffer a fourth defeat from five outings. Their only point came from a 1-1 draw at home to Al Ahly on January 11.

Etoile know that a win guarantees them a place in the final eight of the competition alongside the likes of TP Mazembe, Zamalek, Mamelodi Sundowns, Wydad Casablanca, Esperance de Tunis and Raja Casablanca.

A draw or even a defeat could also be enough to progress, depending on the result of the other Group B game between Hilal and Ahly played simultaneously in Omdurman, but ESS will be determined to keep their fate in their own hands by winning their match in Rades.

And the North Africans will be confident of victory if their previous clash against the Zimbabweans is anything to go by: Etoile crushed Platinum 3-0 in Bulawayo in December 2019 thanks to goals from Karim Aribi (two) and Hazem Haj Hassen.

Mauritian referee Ahmed Heeralall will take charge of the match in Rades on Saturday night.

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