Esperance reach CAF Champions League semi-finals despite Kabylie draw

Esperance ST edge JS Kabylie to reach CAF CL semi-finals. Photo | CAF Online
Esperance ST edge JS Kabylie to reach CAF CL semi-finals. Photo | CAF Online


Tunisian giants Esperance reached the semi-finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League despite being held to 1-1 draw at home against Algerian side JS Kabylie on Saturday night.

The home side dominated the second-leg at the Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi and advanced 2-1 on aggregate after the tight game in Rades.

The Tunisian giants advanced thanks to their 1-0 first-leg win over their opponents in the first-leg of the quarter-final tie last week.

Mohamed Ben Romdhane was the hero for the home side as he scored the first goal of the match just four minutes after the break.

The striker latched onto a long ball floated by defender Yassine Meriah before outpacing his two markers and fired beyond goalkeeper into the bottom corner with his left foot.
Substitute Adem Redjem restored some hope for the visitors with five minutes remaining when he pounced on a lose ball after goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia failed to deal with a nicely hit effort from the edge of the box.
Kabylie piled on the pressure in search of the goal that could have helped them to stun the home side but goalkeeper Cherifia was resolute to secure his side's progress to the last four of Africa's flagship club football competition.

Esperance will now progress to the last four of the competition and will take Egyptian giants and record title holders Al Ahly in the semi-finals.

The Tunisians will host Ahly in the first-leg to be played early in May with the return clash scheduled to take place in Cairo a week later.