Esperance hold Tout Puissant Mazembe to reach Caf Champions League final

Khalil Chemmam of Esperance
EPA/Lahbibi Salah
The reigning champions will meet Wydad Casablanca in the two-legged showpiece later this month

Reigning African champions Esperance de Tunis held Tout Puissant Mazembe 0-0 in Lubumbashi on Saturday to eliminate the Congolese giants and advance to the Caf Champions League final after an aggregate 1-0 victory.

Youcef Belaili’s 51st-minute winner in the first leg on April 27 ultimately takes Esperance into a second consecutive continental final and keeps alive their chances of retaining their title.

They’ll now meet Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca over a two-legged showpiece, with the first leg scheduled for May 24 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.

The return leg will take place in Rades on May 31, with 2017 champions Wydad booking their spot in the final following a 0-0 draw away against Mamelodi Sundowns having won the first leg 2-1.

Despite a magnificent home record in which they’re unbeaten in front of their own fans in 45 Champions League games, winning 36 of them, Mazembe were unable to get the goal they needed to take the tie to extra time in an excellent atmosphere in Lubumbashi.

Article continues below

However, their finishing let them down against a composed Esperance side on Saturday, as Mihayo Kazembe’s side became increasingly frantic as they felt the occasion getting away from them.

This will be Esperance's eighth Champions League final, with the Tunisian heavyweights having won three previous titles.