Nigeria forward Anayo Iwuala came off the bench to help Esperance Sportive de Tunis lift their sixth straight Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle title after defeating Ben Guerdane 2-1 on Sunday.
The Tunisian giants secured their 32nd title in history after coming from a goal down to win the playoff fixture at Stade Olympique de Rades. Esperance found themselves trailing as early as the sixth minute when Fakhreddine Ouji put Guerdane ahead and they headed into the half-time break down 1-0.
However, in the second period, Esperance continued to attack Guerdane but they were forced to wait until the 85th minute when Ben Hammouda put them level before Ilyes Chetti scored what turned out to be the winner in the stoppages.
🥇❤️💛 CHAMPIONS ! 🏆3⃣2⃣⭐️⭐️⭐️— Espérance de Tunis ❤️💛 الترجي التونسي (@ESTuniscom) June 26, 2022
👏💪 Congratulations / مبروك / Félicitations pic.twitter.com/Fbpfj52Yxg
The 23-year-old Iwuala was introduced in the 64th minute and it was his pass after weaving past Guerdane defenders from the left side, which set up Chetti for the winning goal. Iwuala finished the season with 18 appearances for the Tunisian outfit.
Meanwhile, another Nigerian player Kingsley Eduwo did not feature in the playoff as he was allowed permission to attend to family matters in the West African nation. Esperance confirmed on their Twitter handle why Eduwo was missing out in the decisive battle.
“We have just learned of the death of Kingsley Eduwo’s father,” read part of the statement. “In this sad circumstance, the Steering Committee of Esperance Sportive de Tunis, headed by President Hamdi Meddeb, presents its most sincere condolences to Eduwo and the entire family.
“May God the Merciful welcome the deceased into his Eternal Paradise.”
Esperance finished the playoffs top of their pool with 24 points from 10 matches. They managed six wins, six draws, and lost one and will now represent the country in the Caf Champions League next season.
Meanwhile, US Monastir, who fought from a goal down to force a 2-2 draw against CS Sfaxien, finished second with 22 points and will participate in the Confederation Cup.