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 The African Champions League 2000 
  GROUP A match report 
 Espérance Tunis - Sable de Batié
All groups, all matches: 
African Champions League 2000 
schedule + results
knock-out rounds
Group A
Group B
Esperance Tunis: 
Sable de Batié: 

Sunday July 23, 1715 GMT  
Espérance Tunis - Sable de Batié (Cameroon)  4:0  

Before the match 
Espérance, who have replaced their succesful coach Zaoui by Tony Piechniczek from Poland are clear favorites against the nonames from Cameroon. Espérance has to replace Azaiez (suspended) and Thabet and theier two new Brazilian players Juluis and De Alina. They do not know what really to expect from their guests. Canal Plus (see links below)  who give some strange wrong information about the club competing the second successive time in the quarter finals (which is not true) speaks of a 'magic trio' Kenmogné, Ambé, and Manong, and a coach named Jules Frédéric Nyonga. 
Sable de (Sand of) Batié were formed only a few years ago and promoted into the first division 1997. In 1998 they finished 9th (of 16) and 1999 they became surprise champions. This year they play in the better half of the midfield of the table but have no chance to win the Championship again. 
Espérance have just defended their title and start in a new season. 

1st half 
-Espérance in their traditional red and yellow (gold) striped shirts, black shorts, and red stockings. Sable de Batié in all blue with some yellow. Their keeper is the most conspicious player before the match starts: He plays in all white!  
-Espérance starts attacking but the first half chance belongs to the guests 
-(''5) Espérance: Ali Zitouni in a promising position fails to unleah a dangerous shot 
Sable de Batié in the first 5 minutes look vulnerable in defence. Tunisian players, who last year played some omnipresent style, are left alone on both wings. 
-('9) Espérance as ausual tries to keep the pace high in the opening minutes of home games and have another goal scene created along the right wing(wide) 
-('10) Sable de Batié attacking attempt suffocates in the crowded middle 
Sable de Batié have difficulties playing the ball into attack, getting stripped off the ball by pressure in a tight midfield 
-('14) Espérance: #18, again left alone on the right wing shoots from half right and hits the outside of the goal post. 
-('17) A poor play: First the Cameroon keeper misses the ball, then Ali Zitouni shifts it across the empty goal.  
The lack of cool, perfect scoring from those situations has yet been the big deficít of the young and talented striker 
-obviously Espérance is not yet the dominating and smoothly cooperating unit of last year - it is their first competition match of the new season 
-('27) A spectacular solorun by Adailton Pereira #13 and his shot from difficult angle (left hand side) hits the outside of the goalpost 
-('28) a mistake by the Cameroon keeper who claims to have been fouled inside his area leaves the goal wide open but a defender can clear the ball in the last moment 
-('30) It is time for the Espérance defence to give a horrible look: they get outnumbered 3 against one on a counter attack but an all left alone striker puts the ball wide from best position 10 meters central to the goal  
compared to the good Hearts Of Oak - Al Ahly match this one looks quite poor so far 
-('34) Sable de Batié: A smart through ball beats the offside trap and a player is all alone running down at the right line with the ball. El Ouaer comes out, comes too late and stops the player by a rough foul. Sable de Batié want red for him but he only gets yellow. 
Sable de Batié start to look like they have a chance. But they need to use the wings more. Too many attempts get stopped in the middle. 
-('37) Espérance achieve to combinate into the penalty area along the half right side and it is Hassan Gabsi who scores from about 14 meters - 1:0 
-('42) A through ball on Ali Zitouni who misses wide from difficult angle 

Halftime 1:0 
Sable de Batié began very harmless. just when they started to find into the match, Espérance went ahead. Espérance yet with typical season beginning difficulties in a match of no good quality. It also seems the Espérance has not been able to compensate the loss of Khaled Badra. 

2nd half: 
-('51) An Espérance goal is ruled offside 
-('60) Espérance: A free kick cross surprises the keeper but he can deflect the close range Jaidi(?) header for a corner 
An even more disappointing second half. Espérance are winning the balls in midfield but their attacks are unisnspired 
-('63) Ali Zitouni alone against two defenders on a counter attack manages to get off a shot anyway but the ball does not come close to the goal 
-('64) Ali Zitouni heads wide left from promising position, the crowd starts to become impatient after several errors have marred the Espérance game 
-('66) Sable de Batié, either harmless or stopped by offside calls in the second half, get a corner 
-('68) A Sable de Batié player running in direction to the goal with nobody between him and the keeper gets stopped by a Chihi foul short before the penalty area. What might have been a red card by a different referee in a different match is only a yellow card here. The free kick is miserably wasted. 
Sable de Batié do not play well but yet do not have luck with the refereeing as well: some difficult to call offsides and two situations close to a red card for Espérance have had to be ruled - most of those borderline decisions did not go their way. And again only minutes later Espérance strikes: 
-('73) Ali Zitouni finally strikes with a 10 meter header after Gabsi had surprised the keeper with a cross lob - 2:0  
-('76) Ali Zitouni with another huge opportunity from half left, his attempt goes wide right 
-('78) the Cameroon players start to lose concentration and another huge opportunity for Espérance does not go in because the goal seems to small for the Tunisians 
-('80) The Sable de Batié keeper misses the ball at a corner but then is in the way and preventsEspérance from scoring 
-('87) now it is an easy match for Espérance which they start to enjoy: A fine direct triangle combination - midfield>left wing>central striking position, #2 ? scores - 3:0 
-('injury time) a ball in from the right hand side - the keeper going for it but he deflects it agains the leg of a defender from where it goes into the net for an own goal - 4:0 
-('injury time) Sable de Batié shoots on the goal of Espérance. the ball goes across the bar. El Ouaer has to be asked whether he has touched the ball in the second half 

Final result 4:0 
An expected result in a match of no good quality. Sable de Batié proved to be harmless away and would have needed help by the Libyan referee which they did not get to get. Espérance, who were clearly seeking lost form after the summer break, into any trouble. 

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