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Tunisia Ligue 1 Professionnelle: Olympique Béja defeat Espérance, Étoile du Sahel increase lead at the top

Photo by Mokhtar Hamima via Shems FM

It is early in the championship stage of the 2022-23 Tunisia Ligue 1 Professionnelle season but it is clear that reigning champions Espérance ST have a difficult challenge ahead of them to repeat once again. EST fell to a 2-0 defeat on Sunday against Olympique Béja that featured controversy following OB’s second goal. Senegalese midfielder Lamine Ba put OB into the lead in the 6th minute after getting behind the EST defense and lifting his finish over goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia. Othman Saidi confirmed the victory for OB with a late goal that was confirmed after a long Video Assistant Referee review but still highly disputed by Espérance. Sunday’s match guarantees an interesting clash when the teams meet again in late May for the Coupe de Tunisie final.

After winning the previous six domestic championships, Espérance are now four points behind rivals Étoile du Sahel who continue to show significant improvement this season. Youssef Abdelli scored in the first half and Oussama Abid doubled the lead in the second half for Étoile in their 2-1 victory over US Monastir, who found a late consolation from Idriss Mhirssi. ESS have an excellent opportunity to extend their lead at the top when they face Espérance in the Tunisian Classico next Saturday.

Club Africain joined Espérance and Monastir in a three-way tie for second place behind Étoile after CA defeated US Tataouine 4-1. Tunisia national team player Nader Ghandri opened the scoring inside five minutes to help CA to a decisive victory with goals also arriving from Tunisia youth international Chiheb Labidi and former KV Kortrijk midfielder Larry Azouni. In the other match from the weekend, CS Sfaxien defeated US Ben Guerdane by a 2-1 score.

Highlights from three of the weekend’s matches are below.

Scores

Étoile du Sahel 2-1 US Monastir

Club Africain 4-1 US Tataouine

US Ben Guerdane 1-2 CS Sfaxien

Olympique Béja 2-0 Espérance ST

Highlights

Olympique Béja 2-0 Espérance ST

Étoile du Sahel 2-1 US Monastir

Club Africain 4-1 US Tataouine

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