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 The African Champions League 2000 
  GROUP A match report 
 Espérance Tunis - Mamelodi Sundowns
All groups, all matches: 
African Champions League 2000 
schedule + results
knock-out rounds
Group A
Group B
Esperance Tunis: 
Saturday Aug 19, 1700 GMT 
Esperance Tunis (Tunisia) - Sundowns (South Africa)  3:2

before the match: 
Sundowns with a big opportunity to leap away. Both teams profit from the draw in the second match as it is expected that who loses points against Sable de Batié, will come short in the end. 
Espérance struggling to find form in the first two matches but should be again with key midfielders Hassan Gabsi and and Maher Kanzari. 

1st half: 
-A Brazilian meeting: Sundowns are called 'Brazilians' and play in the same colours as Brazil and Espérance fields their new Brazilian imports Reinaldo and Adailton 
-Sundowns seem as they do not want to hide. Pitch and game look better than the first match of the day right away 
-('5) Sundowns try to control the ball by short passing game but Espérance pressing gets them into troubles and leads to a first test for the keeper 
-('9) Sundowns: a solorun by #13? almost takes the whole defence apart - not a big opportunity but a warning 
Although Espérance have improved, Sundowns look a competent team 
-('12) Espérance: Reinaldo dribbles himself into a good position but then unleashes a soft attempt 
-('13) Espérance continue to pressure, the keeper, who could be the soft spot, misses the cross but the header goes over the empty goal 
-('18) Sundowns: a counter attack has the opponents outnumbered 3 against 2 but leads to nothing 
-('19)('22)('25)('27) Espérance with a lot of pressure and some half chances resulting from it 
-('28)('30) three promising Sundowns counter attempts are stopped by offsides - the offside is a standard means by Espérance to stop counter attacks while the team is trying to impose their presusure upfront but it always has its risks 
-('30) Espérance: a thropugh ball on Reinaldo who trips over the keeper - it is hard to tell whether he touched the ball or not - the referee says penalty - it is a medium high shot on the right corner and saved by the keeper 
-('35) this time the pressure is too much for Sundowns: a brilliant diagonal ball by Reinaldo plays a player free, his shot is saved but in the second attacking wave another shot, again deflected by the keeper, is finally pushed across the line by Ali Zitouni - 1:0 
-('39) amost dangerous attempt by Espérance is called byck for offside - a close call 
-('40) Sundowns: an attack does not result in any attempt on the goal but again the Espérance defending looks odd - several unmarked opponents would have had an opportunity if the ball had come their way 
-('41) Sundowns: athrough ball plays out the complete defence #13 cannot beat El Ouaer but #16? has a free attempt on the goal with only a defender on the line but only hits the crossbar from 10 meters  
-('44) Sundowns: A through ball this time on #16 who beats the storming out El Ouar with a header which a defender can scratch short before crossing the line. The ball hits the goalpost and the situation is over  
-('45) a ball into the penalty area on #13 Mudau, the Sundowns captain, who moves out a defender by a turn and scores into the left corner - 1:1 

halftime 1:1 
A very entertaining match. Sundowns a competent team with good passing game. Espérance with enormous attacking potential imposing a lot of pressure on the Sundowns build up. But when confronted with Sundowns attacks the defending of the Tunisian team looks poorly organized and sloppy. Too easily the striker could score the goal the team had deserved for minutes.

2nd half: 
-('46) Espérance start attacking right away 
-in the following minutes Sundowns with more control of the match than in the first half. No goal scenes in a neutralized match - until: 
-('60) an energetic run by Gabsi who then sets up Chihi who's shot leaves no chance for the keeper but bounces from the left goal post back onto the field 
-('66) Sundowns: a deflected ball finds an unmarked Sundowns attacker (#15) but El Ouaer can rescue. On the other end of the pitch Espérance waste a good opportunity 
-('75) One of the rare occasions Sundowns can play out Esperance defence in the second half and they make it a perfect triangle play: a long diagonal cross to the left wing a direct low ball into the middle and a direct shot (Reuters: Isaac Shai) make it look easy, a great goal - 1:2 
-('79) Reinaldo brings Espérance back into the game when from 16 meters  he moves out two defenders by a quick move and shoots into the left corner with a low shot - 2:2 
-('82) free kick from the right: Kanzari brings in a cross, defenders seem irritated by a striker in passive offside and do not concentrate, keeper can save a header but Jaidi with an artistic attempt converts the loose ball from close range, the stadium goes wild - 3:2 
-('88) Espérance: free kick from the right hand side, Kanzari with a surprise rocket but the keeper can deflect for a corner 

final result 3:2 
an individual moment of new Espérance star Reinaldo shifted the momentum in favour of the emotional Tunisian side. It was also the return of Maher Kanzari as a substitute in the second half to reestablish the Espérance game just as it looked as Sundowns could walk away with big points. It was Espérance big play capability of their inddividual players what defeated the good looking team display of their opponents today. 

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