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 The African Champions League 2000 
  GROUP A match report 
 Africa Sports - Espérance Tunis
All groups, all matches: 
African Champions League 2000 
schedule + results
knock-out rounds
Group A
Group B
Africa Sports: 
Esperance Tunis: 
Sunday Aug 6, 1630 GMT 
Africa Sports (Abidjan, CIV) - Esperance Tunis (Tun.)  2:1 

Before the match: 
Espérance line up has not much in common with last years dream team and the team that has not started yet into Tunisian championship had shown difficulties in fluent play in the first match despite winning 4:0 agianst nonames Sable de Batié. 
Africa Sports had lost the first match at Sundwons and was humiliated by local rivals ASEC 1:6 in the quarter finals of the domestic club last Sunday, a result that has been reported worldwide. This is at least as dramatic as a similar result in Real-Barca, Roma-Lazio, or Inter-Milan.  
So Espérance has been widely tipped as being able to pick up valuable away points today 

Africa Sports: 16 Agassa, 6 Nkecua, 3 Mariko, 17 Dadie, 13 Doumbia, 8 Kone, 7 Dao, 14 Issoufou, 4 Komara, 12 K.Keita, 10 A.Keita 
Espérance: 1 El Ouaer, 5 Ben Hamed, 3 Abdeli, 17 Azaiez, 6 Sahbani, 4 Bedhiafi, 12 Melliti, 13 Adeilton, 15 Jaidi, 11 Melki, 9 Zitouni 

1st half: 
-Africa Sports in green with red, Esperance in their traditional red and yellow ('gold') striped shirt. It is impossible to read the shirt numbers of Africa Sports as they are red upon green. With #10 and #12 the two Kéita brothers are playing (they are listed as #10 Amadou and #12 Abdul Kaled but #10 should be Fadel Keita, he should be #10 and identical with Amadou. maybe an Ivorian expert could help here). The two have been most conspicious before, for example in last years Cup Winners Cup finals.  
-('3) 20 m low rocket into the left corner - no chance for the keeper - 1:0 (scorer: Fadel Kéita) 
-('4) Esperance with a first visit to the Ivorian penalty area 
-('6) a good counter opportunity for Africa Sports, given away a little easily 
-('14) sensational show by #12 K. Keita ? who curves around defenders inside the penalty area who seem to fear a penalty, then sets up a player with a low ball against the run of play who easily scores - 2:0 (scorer: Fadel Kéita)
so far a great game by Africa Sports who were supposed to be shocked by a 1:6 thrashing by eternal rivals ASEc in the domestic cup 
Espérance who have not yet started ibnto the Tunisian championship after the summer break do not find into the game at all 
-('22) the second visit by Esperance in the penalty area of Africa Sports sees a nice cross but a too weak header 
-('23) Espérance: a cross comes down damngerously and the keeper has difficulties to deflect it for a corner - which then becomes very dangerous as two strikers can get the ball on the goal but the keeper is well positioned on the line to grab it 
-('26) Africa Sports: a promising attack is ruled offside 
-('32) similar scene for Esperance (might have been foul as well) 
-('36) another clsoe offside call against Africa Sports 
-('37) on the opposite side Ali Zitouni is stopped by a foul - the good free kick from 20 meters is deflected across the bar by the keeper 
-('38) harmless shot no problem for Africa Sports keeper 
-('38) major error in the Tunisian defence but Africa Sports does not hit the practically empty target - the ball from 16 meters flies over the bar 
-('42) nice attack by Africa Sports, but the eventual shot from 20 meters is rocketed with all power high into the air and far across the bar 
-('45) the Ivorian attack causes some confusion in the Espérance defence again 
-('45) a first substitution by Espérance: Abdelli in for Thabet 

an inspired begin by Africa Sports and a lethargic start by Espérance. It resulted in the scoreline. The second part of the first half Espérance woke up and it is an even match since. Espérance could become dangerous once they score but Africa Sports is able to score another as well. They will have to keep on trying in the second half to prevent the momentum from turning in favour of the Tunisians. 

2nd half: 
-('50) Africa Sports: a long distance attempt by Adeilton flies high over the bar  
-('54) Africa Sports: it might have been intended a cross but the ball from half left misses the goal only by centimeters 
-('59) huge scene for the Ivorian attack, but the shot misses narrowly wide right, keeper would have had no chance 
-('60) half chance for Espérance 
-(61) #10 Reinaldo surprises the keeper with a shot from almost 30 meters - 2:1 
-('67) promising attack by Espérance but the ball is volleyed across the bar from about 9 meters central to the goal 
-('69) through ball by Reinaldo on Ali Zitouni who hits the cross-bar 
as thought at halftime:If Africa Sports does not score a third the momentum would change with a goal 
-('70) Africa Sports are 3 against 2 but cannot manage to score 
Espérance eager to equalize leaves room now for counter attacks 
-('72) Espérance: Reinaldo who has become a driving force runs another attack which is cleared for a corner 
-('76) free kick Africa Sports 22 meters, central to the goal, shot is getting stucked in the wall 
-('78) Espérance put pressure on Africa Sports build up and play fast themselves which gets their opponents into troubles 
-('80) two good counter opportunities for Africa Sports wasted by bad crosses (might be caused by ground) 
-('81) a huge opportunity for Espérance in a counter attack when the Ivorian defence looks dispersed but the strikers seem too nervous to play it out coolly - in the end it is just a shot across the bar 
from the fitness point Espérance does not seem to have any problems today 
-('83) a close offside call stops Africa Sports - Espérance is using the trap against the Ivorian attacks 
-('87) Africa Sports: a deflected distance attempt becomes dangerous for El Ouaer but goes wide 
too much hectic in the Tunisian game now 
-('89) Africa Sports: curve ball from 20 meters across the bar 
-('90) Africa Sports: Espérance lose the ball again, playing hectically, and this time Africa Sports play the counter attack fine. The eventual shot from 8 meters clashes against the crossbar and bounces back onto the field. 
-('injury time) brilliant attack by Africa Sports, in the end it's keeper El Ouaer who saves against a shot from half right. 
-('injury time) Africa Sports with a last spectacular scene by Keita who's shot is blocked by a defender - match is over  

Final result 2:1 
Everything is open in this group. Africa Sports, with a lot of talent, as expected are strong at home and Espérance suggested for some time but not in all the match why they are favorites. 

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