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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Last second Chetti goal clinches sixth consecutive Ligue 1 Professionnelle title for Espérance

The final day of Tunisia’s Ligue 1 Professionnelle featured plenty of drama and late goals to finish off a title race that was dead even between reigning champions Espérance and US Monastir. The two teams were even on 21 points and each had the same goal difference heading into their final fixtures. Espérance clinched their sixth straight championship season courtesy of an Ilyes Chetti goal in the final minute of second half stoppage time in a 2-1 victory over US Ben Guerdane. With Monastir only managing a 2-2 draw at CS Sfaxien, the Blood and Gold won the Championship group by two points.

It was not easy for Espérance and the pressure only got greater when visitors Ben Guerdane unexpectedly took the lead in the 6th minute. USBG’s Rômullo nicked the ball from an EST defender and moved in on goal before crossing for Fahreddine Ouji to volley into the roof of the net. What followed was dominance from Espérance in their attempts to climb back from the early deficit but it appeared luck was not on their side when Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane’s penalty kick was saved by USBG keeper Noureddine Farhati towards the end of the first half.

However, EST finally found their breakthrough late in the second half when Mohamed Ali Ben Hammouda headed in from a cross following a short free kick in the 85th minute. Just when it seemed Espérance did not have enough to take the full three points, Chetti collected a loose ball in the seventh minutes of stoppage time and curled a shot inside the far post for a dramatic winner.

Chetti’s goal was needed because Monastir had pulled off a comeback from two goals down at Sfaxien, who were up 2-0 at halftime. Roger Aholou pulled one back for Monastir in the 71st minute and despite a red card Mohamed Saghraoui, Youssef Abdelli gave Monastir what appeared to be a championship winning equalizer but their title hopes were dashed by Chetti.

Highlights from both games are below.

Espérance ST 2-1 US Ben Guerdane

CS Sfaxien 2-2 US Monastir