A brace either side of half time by striker Saad Bguir inspired Tunisian giants Esperance to a 3-0 win (4-3 on aggregate) over Egyptian side Al Ahly in their CAF Champions League second leg final clash on Friday night.
Bguir gave the Blood and Gold the lead in first half stoppage time when he slid home from inside the box to end a rather disappointing half of football on a high. He was then left unmarked inside the box nine minutes after the break, allowing him to head home a perfect cross by Sameh Derbali.
With the game looking poised to end 2-0, midfielder Anice Badri took matters into his hands, robbing his opponent off the ball in the center circle before wrapping up a solo effort with a spectacular strike from just outside the box.
The goal was Badri’s eight of the tournament, making him the tournament’s top goalscorer for the 2018 season and crowing a third title for his side – their previous wins in 2004 and 2011.
The Egyptians Ahly, who have Nigeria’s Junior Oluwafemi Ajayi in their ranks were leading 3-1 from a controversial first leg game in Alexandria last Friday but were a shadow of themselves at the Olympics Stadium in Rades, failing to muster a single shot on target throughout the ninety minutes.
Friday’s defeat means the second successive time that Al Ahly will lose in the Champions League final after their defeat in the hands of Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca in the 2017 final. It is also the third time in a row that an Egyptian side will be beaten in the final after South African side Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Zamalek in the 2016 final.
Nigeria’s Shehu Dikko was the Match Commissioner for the final which was attended by top global football dignitaries led by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the CAF President Ahmad Ahmad.
Esperance, by the virtue of their title have earned a financial sum of 2.5 million US dollars and will represent Africa at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates next month. They will also enter the 2018/19 CAF Champions League at the group stage.