ASEC Mimosas out to maintain unbeaten record against ES Tunis

ASEC Mimosas out to maintain unbeaten record against ES Tunis
Julien Chevalier, head coach of ASEC Mimosas during the CAF Champions League 2023/24 quarterfinal match between Esperance Tunis and ASEC Mimosas at Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi in Rades, Tunisia on 30 March 2024 ©Mehrez Toujani/BackpagePix

by Thando Mpembe

Friday Apr 05, 2024. 15:00

ASEC Mimosas will look to make home advantage count when they welcome ES Tunis to the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in the second leg of the CAF Champions League quarter-finals on Saturday, April 6.

Kick-off is at 10pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)

The tie is delicately poised after Les Mimos held the Blood and Gold to a 0-0 draw at the Stade Hammadi Agrebi in the first leg on March 30 to boost the former’s chances of reaching the semi-finals for the eighth time in their history.

Julien Chevalier’s side have been particularly impressive at home in Africa’s elite club competition this season as they’ve yet to concede a single goal after beating 2022-23 finalists Wydad Casablanca (1-0) and Jwaneng Galaxy (3-0) before drawing with Simba (0-0) in the group stages.

The Ivorian giants defended doggedly in Tunis to thwart their Tunisian counterparts and Chevalier praised his players for a “heroic” display in trying conditions.

“I would like to congratulate my players for their performance. It was an intense and difficult match. I consider a draw here in Tunis to be heroic against a club like Esperance in such an electric atmosphere,” the Frenchman was quoted as saying on CAFOnline.

“We did not deliberately choose defense, but it was the situation we were in. There is still a second round to play in Abidjan which we must prepare well and approach well.”

ES Tunis have it all to do in Abidjan to keep their title hopes alive as they look to progress to the last four for the fifth time in seven years.

Miguel Cardoso’s side have scored three goals on their continental travels this term and they did well to hold Group C winners Petro de Luanda to a 0-0 draw in Luanda after losing their first away game 3-1 to Al Hilal.

Their record against ASEC Mimosas does not make for good reading, however, as the four-time African champions have yet to beat them in five attempts, losing twice and drawing three times.

Cardoso is confident of getting the job done in the second leg though, given their dominant performance in the reverse fixture when they were denied by the woodwork.

“Just look at the match statistics and possession to realise our total control over the match. We did everything, tried everything, changed strategy during the match, the only thing missing was goals.

“The players were not sad after the match, but they had a feeling of frustration because they gave everything, but they were unlucky. I remain positive and optimistic about our chances of making it to the semi-finals.”

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