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AFL: Espérance surge back in second leg to defeat TP Mazembe

Tunisian giants Espérance ST are through to the semifinals of the African Football League following a 3-0 second leg victory over Congolese champions TP Mazembe on Thursday in Tunis. Ghaith Ouahabi opened the scoring just before halftime with second half goals from Oussema Bouguerra and and Mohamed Amine Tougai confirming a 3-1 aggregate victory for the four-time African club champions. EST await the winner of Thursday’s second quarterfinal duel between Wydad AC of Morocco and Nigeria’s Enyimba.

Following a 1-0 first leg defeat in Tanzania, the pressure was on EST to overturn the deficit at home and the hosts controlled play throughout the second leg. An outstanding performance from Mazembe goalkeeper Baggio Siadi kept his team in contention with alert shot stopping. Siadi denied an excellent opportunity for EST forward Rodrigues in the 4th minute and Mazembe escaped conceding again in the 14th minute when Tougai was wide open to head a Yan Sasse corner kick service wide.

The goal did eventually arrive for Espérance in the 45th minute when a corner kick from Houssem Teka found Ouahabi at the near post for a flicked header that looped over Siadi and into the goal to level the aggregate score. Mazembe continued to absorb pressure after halftime but the enterprising efforts of winger Phillippe Kinzumbi nearly silenced the home supporters when his 64th minute cross found Glody Likonza, but the midfielder’s shot was right at EST keeper Amanallah Memmiche.

EST continued to push and took the lead on aggregate in the 76th minute. Mohamed Ben Ali created space on the right wing and his low cross eventually fell to Sasse, who slipped a pass to Bouguerra for a low finish past Siadi to send the supporters into delight. Ten minutes later EST pulled beyond reach when Siadi was late coming out to claim a Sasse free kick service and Tougai leaped up to head into the empty net.

Highlights from the second leg are below.


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