Mar 31, 2011, 1:15 PM
Tunisian club Esperance survived the scare at home last weekend to reach the final qualifying round for the African Champions League.
Defending champions Esperance came from behind in Tunis suburb Rades to beat Brikama United of Gambia 3-1 after a 1-1 first-leg draw in West Africa two weeks ago, according to Supersports.
Esperance, whose triumph last November was a second in an annual championship first staged 48 years ago, fell behind 28 minutes into the opening half as Lamin Sawo struck for the Gambian provincial team.
Wajdi Bouazza, who scored in the first leg, levelled on 40 minutes and highly rated Youssef Msakni put the ‘Blood and Gold’ ahead on the night and on aggregate with a superbly struck free kick just before halftime.
Cameroon-born Yannick Ndjeng missed a penalty kick midway through the second half before Karim Aouadi settled Tunisian nerves with a third goal 18 minutes from time.
Jaziri opened the scoring on 10 minutes for 2007 champions and twice runners-up Etoile, but Dan Wagaruka levelled before the break and Burundi striker Papy Faty nudged APR ahead close to time.
Hamed Namouchi equalised in the final minute of regular time, Faty was red carded after a melee, and APR clung to the lead on the away-goal rule until Jaziri struck a second time.
Hilal, who have reached the penultimate stage three times in the past five years, took a three-goal lead into the return match and Sudan striker Eltaib struck twice in the first half.
It was then the turn of Sadomba to torment Diplomates with a goal just after halftime and another from a mid-second half penalty before Saif Masawi struck and Omar Bakheet conceded a last-minute own goal.