A sensational goal from long range by Espérance ST winger Hamdou Elhouni left the home support in Algiers stunned as the Blood and Gold snatched three points in their 1-0 CAF Champions League Group D victory over CR Belouizdad on Saturday. The Libya national team star’s goal left Le Chabab dismayed and moved EST into first place in the group with two wins from two matches, both decided by late goals. CR Belouizdad remain in second position on three points ahead of Al-Merrikh and Zamalek.
CRB will feel the result was not deserved for Espérance after controlling the match throughout and attempting over twenty shots. EST hardly threatened in the first half and had goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia to thank for keeping the match scoreless. Ben Cherifia came up with an important save on Anayo Iwuala’s well struck shot in the 34th minute, two minutes after left back Amine Ben Hamida was alert to clear a shot off the line from CRB center back Sofiane Bouchar following a corner kick.
The opportunities continued for the hosts after the break. Zakaria Draoui headed a corner kick over the bar in the 47th minute and Akram Bouras rattled Ben Cherifia’s crossbar a couple of minutes later with the goalkeeper beaten. It appeared that luck was not on the side of Le Chabab when poor judgment led Ben Cherifia far outside his box in the 71st minute but Iwuala’s lofted shot was cleared off the line by retreating EST central defender Mohamed Tougaï.
EST’s perseverance paid off in the final fifteen minutes with a special moment from Elhouni in the 80th minute. Substitute forward Mohamed Ali Ben Hamouda managed to hold off a CRB defender as he cut into the middle of the park from the right wing and switched play to Elhouni on the left wing. With a defender bearing down on him, Elhouni unleashed a driven blast from twenty-five yards out that CRB goalkeeper Alexis Guendouz desperately dived for but could not reach leaving the crowd stunned into silence.
Video of Elhouni’s excellent match winner is below.