Caf Champions League holders Esperance de Tunis claimed a 3-2 win over CS Constantine in a quarterfinal first-leg clash at Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine on Saturday evening.
The Tunisian giants blew a two-goal lead in Algeria, but would prove their mettle once more to claim a vital away win ahead of the reverse fixture in seven days time.
Esperance hit the front as early as the sixth minute through Youcef Belaili who converted from the penalty spot.
Fousseny Coulibaly doubled the visitors' lead two minutes following the internal, but the hosts would level matters through goals from Adil Djabout and Nassim Yattou.
Last year's champions, though, would claim the win with a third away goal in the 74th minute. Ghilane Chalali teed up teammate Mohamed Yacoubi who scored the killer blow, leaving the Algerians with a mountain to climb heading into the second leg.
The reverse fixture will take place next week Saturday in Rades.
CS Constantine (0) 2 (Djabout 49' Yattou 71')
Esperance de Tunis (1) 3 (Belaili 6' penalty, Coulibaly 47', Yacoubi 74')
CS Constantine: Rahmani (Osmani 77'); Bencherifa, Salhi, Benayada, Zaalani, Chahrour, Yattou, Dylan Bahamboula (Abid 62'), Hadded, Belkheir, Djabout (Belmokhtar 72').
Esperance de Tunis: Ben Cherifia; Dhaouadi, Yacoubi, Kom, Ben Mohamed, Coulibaly, Chalali, Meskini, Belaili (Elhouni 59'), Badri (Bguir 90+3'), Khenissi (Jouini 75').