Esperance 4-2 Agosto: Tunisians beat Angolans in dramatic fashion

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Esperance beat Primeiro Agosto to reach their first Caf Champions League final since 2011

An eventful evening in Rades marked by half-a-dozen goals saw Esperance wrapping up a 4-3 aggregate scoreline to storm into the final, following a 4-2 home win on Tuesday.

Anice Badri scored Esperance’s winning goal late in the match to cap an outing in which he also provided an assist as the Tunisians overturned a 1-0 defeat from the first leg.

Badri’s strike was to complement other goals by Mohamed Belaili, Mohamed Yacoubi and substitute Haythem Jouini to ruthlessly crush Agosto who nearly stole the contest through goals from Geraldo and Mongo Bokamba.

Agosto had stunned the Stade Olympique de Rades eight minutes into the match when Geraldo shot from the edge of the penalty box and followed up to pounce home a spill by Esperance goalkeeper Rami Jridi.

Geraldo’s goal triggered a typical response from the hosts who started relentless attacking and responded eight minutes later.

Algerian forward Belaili converted from the penalty spot after he was felled down inside the box by Jose Macaia, forcing Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe to award the hosts a penalty kick.

Esperance’s persistence continued and an unmarked Yacoubi dived to head in a cross from Badri on 27 minutes to make it 2-1.

Now needing just a goal to nullify Geraldo’s away goal for Agosto, Belaili sought another penalty but was booked for diving under the challenge of Agosto goalkeeper Toni.

Amid some insistent probing by the Esperance, the visitors launched a counter attack but Nigerian striker Razak Adegbite missed at close range a headed pass by Dany.

Going for the half-time break needing just one goal to sail through to the final, Esperance predictably came back continuing with their dominance.

And two minutes after the restart Taha Yassine Khenissi had a headed effort safely collected by Toni.

But Agosto appeared stubborn, levelling matters after Congolese forward Bokamba’s long freekick was fumbled by Jridi on 64 minutes to give Esperance an uphill task of finding two goals to claim the contest.

Still, Esperance still appeared determined with substitute Jouini tapping in a low cross from Sameh Derbali in the 73rd minute to leave them searching for just one more goal again.

In the meantime, tensions were boiling in the terraces causing a brief stoppage as riotous Esperance fans attacked police with missiles.

A few moments later Agosto thought they had buried the contest but Bobo Ungenda’s goal was disallowed as Jridi was adjudged to have been pushed by Mingo Bille in the process.

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Esperance’s defining moment however finally came five minutes before fulltime when Badri took advantage of a poor clearance by Ungenda to connect a Jouini feed off a long clearance by goalkeeper Jridi for Esperance’s winner.

Then, Agosto appeared to have their energy sapped by Badri's goal and when Sikazwe blew the final whistle, wild celebrations were sparked to wrap up the drama-filled evening.

Esperance will meet the winner between Al-Ahly and ES Setif who were set to clash later on.

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