Football in: [ 2010 ]  [ Today ]  [ Germany ]  [ AFRICA ]  [ Asia ]  [ Internet ]  [ Universe ]  [ Archives ]  [ AFRICAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ]
 The African Champions League 2000
  FINAL 2nd leg
 Hearts Of Oak - Espérance Tunis
All groups, all matches:
African Champions League 2000
schedule, groups, reports, results
Final 1st leg
Final overview
Hearts Of Oak: Esperance Tunis:
 > new unofficial Hearts Of Oak website
Dec 17 1500 GMT: African Champions League Final, 2nd leg
Hearts of Oak (Accra, Ghana) - Esperance Tunis (Tunisia) 3:1 (final) (first leg: 2:1) 
winners: Hearts Of Oak

before the match:
Hearts Of Oak go into the second match as clear favorites and with a thorough preperation. They left Ghana to prepare and to escape all possibly distracting pre-match celebrations which might deceive them about the real strength of Esperance.
The first match been had like a boxing fight. Here Esperance, with all techniques taking apart their opponents, but with a lack of punching power. Many hits, but not hard enough to beat their opponents. There Hearts Of Oak, accepting to be inferior according to points but waiting for their opponents to become tired, to land the late knock-out punch.
And what a hit it was. The before entirely dominating Esperance were so disillusioned after the second Hearts goal, that the vistors were close to decide it all with a third goal. But they didn't and so Esperance are still witha chance. Because anyway they are clearly a class of their own, seen over the years. But it is an uphill task: Scoring two goals away is the presupposition for any scenario letting the Tunsiains lift the cup.
A lot has been interpreted into the first match, maybe a bit too much. It was a tactical masterpiece for Hearts, but only because everything went right and the Tunisians blew their opportunities, starting to believe in their opponents to be harmless. And to speak of an 'ageing' Tunisian squad only applies to the goalkeeper Chokri El Ouaer, who also could be described as 'experienced'. All other players are 30 or younger, including the key midfielders Chihi, Gabsi, and Kanzari. And striker Ali Zitouni is not even 20. He is a fantastic worker but yet lacks the cool finishing of his even younger counterpart Ismael Addo who made it one out of one in the first leg while Ali Zitouni scored but also wasted some golden opportunities.
With knowing the scenario, Hearts will not offer Esperance the space, Hearts themselves had in the first match and thus it will be very difficult for the Tunsiains to achieve the impossible. And they will have to overcome rising star keeper Sammy Adjei, which seemed very difficult at Tunis. The Accra club is only 90 minutes away from their greatest triumph.

1st half:
- Esperance in their traditional red and gold striped shirts and black shorts, Hearts in the same purple shirt of the first leg but white shorts
- ('1) Esperance not with the furious start like in the first match but controlling the ball first
- ('2) Hearts attacking with more players here than in the entire first match
- ('4) the match is too low to get Hearts into danger: although a Tunisian wins a one against one situation on the left hand side it is time enough for the defence to regroup and clear
- ('5) a nice midfield combination suggests Hearts will be capable of creating chances themselves
- ('6) Esperance play slow, too slow: Jaidi loses the ball in his own half and a quick attempted lob by a Hearts player flies across the bar
- ('10) first two good scenes for Hearts: a long distance free kick is wiped across the bar by El Ouaer, but the insuing corner creates a lot of confusion and is only cleared in the last moment
- it is not Esperance who look determined, it is not Hearts who hesitate and wait, it is the other way round
- ('13) a huge opportunity for Esperance: Reinaldo breaks through on the left wing and his cross finds the all alone Ali Zitouni who heads it ... - over the bar
- though the Esperance passing is not yet accurate
- ('18) a corner for Esperance is played on the first goal post by Adailton. Gabsi runs into that empty space, beats his defender and heads it into the net (1. looks like well prepared, 2. nobody for security at the first goal post) - 0:1
- a clear gain of confidence can be interpreted into the Tunisian moves now
- ('23) Ali Zitouni? runs all alone into direction of the keeper but a defender catches up with him and so his attempt becomes effectless 
- Charles Taylor is a lively figure for Hearts and proves that his goal preperation in the first match was no accident
- ('28) Esperance have control but now Emmanuel Kuffour brings back some faith in the crowd: he cannot be stopped by three opponents, it takes a fourth defender to strip the ball off him
- the match does not have the quality of the first match, Esperance play more economical and Hearts are more anxious now
- ('34)('37) two half chances for Hearts
- ('38) fouls are getting more, a yellow card on both sides
- ('40) Gabsi gets his yellow card, too, rather for a series of small fouls than the challenge here
- ('41) a good Hearts attack ends with a diagonal low shot from half left hand side which is grabbed perfectly by El Ouaer

halftime 0:1
at this point Hearts still lead on aggregate, but only because of the away goals rule

2nd half:
- sub #10 comes in for Hearts (for #12)
- ('47) a first attack by Esperance leads to a corner
- ('50) error by Esperance and a quick counter: and a huge opportunity for Ismael Addo but with defence moved out by his quick turn, his shot goes across the bar
- ('51) a dangerous through ball but El Ouaer intercepts
- players of both teams have complained about some dirty play
- ('56) El Ouaer intercepts a promising quick Hearts breakthrough
- ('56) Esperance answer with a counter and a weak shot by Zitouni? which Adjei lets bounce out for a corner 
- ('62) a Hearts defender gets away with an obvious holding (outsdide the penalty area) which stops an Esperance breakthrough
- ('65) Esperance have outnumbered their opponents on counter attacks twice but fail to come up with something dangerous
- ('66) a series of tactical fouls on both sides, yellow for Jaidi
- ('67) Hearts: #4 comes in
- ('69) Esperance: #2 Taoufik comes in for #11 Bedhiafi
- Esperance have failed to be dangerous in the second half yet, will they have the fitness to gear up in the final quarter?
- ('73) Hearts: #13 comes in for Charles Taylor
- scenes on both sides show, defenders outnumber attackers - Esperance has to start to take chances now
- ('78) it seems to get chaotic: crowd problems? some stands get evacuated. teargas? the match continues but eventually gets interrupted 
- ('81) Kanzari and #5 ? come in for Adailton and #7 Thabet, the match is still halted
- ('83) El Ouaer is lying on the ground (in front of the benches), gets treated, photographers have evacuated the field, still the match has not continued
- ('88) the match is still halted
- ('90+5) somebody has been carried off the field and brought away in an ambulance car, was it El Ouaer?
- it seems Gabsi is going into goal, as Esperance just had made their second and third substitute and are not allowed to replace the keeper with the second goalkeeper
- Espèrance play with 10 men the remaining 10+ minutes as I rewind the clock
- ('82) Emmanuel Kuffour has scored - 1:1
- opportunity for Esperance
- the farce continues: red card for Azaiez (Esperance) 
- another goal for Hearts - 2:1
- ('injury time) another goal for Hearts, but it is no match anymore, anyway - 3:1

result 3:1
The match was decided by whatever really happened in the interruption after 79 minutes when Esperance had to replace their keeper with a field player because they had already made 3 substitutions. 
Whether El Ouaer has faked the incident (as it is suggested by some media) or it has been a result of crowd trouble, it has been another troublesome day for the image of African football and will be loved by the European press which otherwise might not have noticed this event. It turned the match into a farce, deprived Esperance of any comeback chance, and was casting an undeserved shadow over Hearts great success.
(In a year of crowd trouble in African football it has further to be asked what use of teargas in stadiums can be good for as it always triggers panic in which often casualties are the consequence).

the Reuters statistics is as follows and wrong in several points:
Hearts of Oak - Emmanuel Osei Kuffour 83, 89, Ishmael Addo 90 Esperance - Hassen Gabsi 18
Red card: Walid Azaiez (Esperance) 86
Halftime: 0-1; Attendance: 45,000
Hearts of Oak: 1-Sammy Adjei; 6-Dan Quaye, 5-Jacob Nettey, 15-Edward Agyeman-Duah, 17-Stephen Tetteh, 14-Joe Ansah, 12-Charles Allotey (10-Emmanuel Adjogu 46), 9-Adjah Tetteh (4-Edmond Copson 67), 18-Ishmael Addo, 3-Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, 8-Charles Taylor (13-Osmanu Amadu 73). 
Esperance: 1-Chokri El Ouaer (Maher Kanzari 85), 7-Tarek Thabet (5-Faycal Ben Ahmed 85), 17-Walid Azaiez, 15-Radhi Jaidi, 3-Hakim Nouira, 4-Mohamed Bedhiafi, 8-Hassen Gabsi, 11-Mourad Melki (2-Taoufik Hammami 69), 14-Adailton, 10-Reinaldo, 9-Ali Zitouni. 
right: Kanzari had been substituted for Adailton, not El Ouaer, and both substitutes had been made before the El Ouaer incident and before the first goal for Hearts and not afterwards (all verified by videotape). Always be careful what Reuters writes - it only reflects what one individual sees or thinks and can contain as many mistakes as this ticker can contain, too (although I try to be careful). The stats contradict also in the given times: All goals were scored after El Ouaer left the field as reported in the live-ticker.

The problem with media is, that truth is made this way. For example, even CAF-online takes over these Reuters reports. So people recognise it as some kind of 'official truth'. It was in the news, it was on an official website. It gets repeated and reproduced. But often it is still just based on one particular view while there are always several other perspectives which vanish in the meantime. But I do not say this to suggest that the part of the report concerning El Ouaer is untrue. Not at all. I cannot say anything about this.

Rather funny the CAF Online version of todays Reuters story: they took the report, but cut out the El Ouaer story, patched together the rest and put it on their website as if the incident did not happen. Only why there was a 'stand-in' goalkeeper remained unexplained.

protest by Espérance
The protest by Esperence against the match and result was rejected by CAF and Hearts confirmed as cup winners. The official statement:
 After studying the file of the match Hearts v Esperance and the 
protest of Esperance club of Tunisia, CAF organizing Committee for inter-clubs competitions decided with a large majority of its members to confirm the result of the game played in Accra on 17th December 2000 which was 3/1 in Favour of Hearts of Oak due to the following reasons:
- since in conformity with article 8 para 1 g) of the regulations of 
the competition, it is exclusively the prerogative of the referee to
suspend the match in case of insecurity of the players.
- since the referees´ report did not mention any insecurity on the
field of play which could have hindered the performance of the 
players of the two teams.
The final decisions regarding the incidents which occured during the Accra match will be taken by the bureau of the Organizing Committee in its meeting on 10th February on the eve of CAF super-cup match.
The final decisions of CAF concerning the Champions League final incidents at Accra on Dec 17th:
-Hearts Of Oak is banned for one year from playing international competition matches at Accra stadium
-Ghana FA is fined 3000$ (US) for bad  organisation
-Chokri El Ouaer is banned for one year from inter-club competitions for injuring himself in an attempt to have the match abandoned (sound as he will be able to play World Cup qualifiers and domestic matches)
-Esperance Tunis is fined 5000 $ US for bas behaviour after the match
-the Tunisian referee Mourad Daami (in whatever function he had been there) is banned for one year from CAF competitions and is taken off the list of candidates for World Cup referees 2002 for trying to interfere with the match referee and convince him to stop the game
-a letter of reprimand to the president of the Tunisian FA for doing the same
-a ban of 4 matches for Azaiez who received a red card during the match
(the result stands a was confirmed before)

back to top


© The Shot That Passed Right Through The Net. [ Mail ]