Saturday May 22, 2021. 20:30
Esperance de Tunis defeated CR Belouizdad 2-0 in the CAF Champions League quarter-final second-leg match at the Stade Olympique de Radès in Tunisia on Saturday night.
Therefore, the tie ended in a 2-2 draw on aggregate and Esperance progressed to the semi-finals after securing a 3-2 victory over Algerian side Belouizdad on penalties.
The Tunisian champions will now lock horns with defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt in a mouthwatering semi-final tie next month.
The Blood and Red dominated the match from the start as they looked to grab an early goal in order to unsettle the Great Chabab’s defence.
However, Belouizdad were able to defend very well against Esperance’s dangerous attackers Hamdou El Houni, Anice Badri and Basit Abdul Khalid
The score was 0-0 during the half-time break and Belouizdad were leading 2-0 on aggregate.
Esperance continued to struggle to break down the Belouizdad defence and the hosts’ head coach Moine Chaabani decided to make changes in the 53rd minute.
The two-time CAF Champions League-winning coach introduced Algerian duo of Abdelraouf Benguit and Ilyes Chetti as the home side looked to break the deadlock.
Benguit proved to be an inspired substitution as the 25-year-old defender-cum-midfielder beat Belouizdad goalkeeper Toufik Moussaoui to make it 1-0 to Esperance eight minutes after the hour-mark.
The momentum was the Blood and Gold in the closing stages and they managed to double their lead with three minutes left on the clock through Mohamed Ben Romdhane.
Badri set-up Ben Romdhane, who hit the back of the net to seal Esperance’s 2-0 win over Belouizdad and the encounter ended in a 2-2 draw on aggregate, and a penalty shootout followed.
Esperance went on to win 3-2 on penalties with Benguit converting the final spot-kick.
Esperance 2 (Benguit 68′, Ben Romdhane 87′)
Esperance: Ben Cherifia (Ben Mustapha 82′), Abdul Khalid, Chemmam (Derbali 68′), Coulibaly (Benguit 53′), Ben Hamida (Chetti 53′), Naguez, Chalali, Bedrane, Ben Romdhane, Badri, El Houni (Togui 82′)
Belouzidad: Moussaoui, Keddad, Nessakh, Draoui, Bouchar, Bellahouel (Djerrar 62′), Belkhither, Tariket (Khali 75′), Mrezigu (Gasmi 90’+2), Sayoud, Selmi (Boulekhoua 90’+2).