Esperance Tunis guaranteed their spot in the next round of the CAF Champions League with a slender 1-0 win over Uganda’s Kampala City in a Group A match at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The win takes Esperance to ten points in Group A, six points above second placed Al Ahly who are in action on Saturday night.
KCCA controlled the flow of play from the onset, but their decision making and touches in the final third was poor which resulted in few decent chances in front of goal.
Esperance suffered a bit of set-back in the 19th minute when Youcef Belaili had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Haythem Jouini.
The change seemed to spark some life into the Tunisian team and they began seeing more of the ball.
Five minutes before the break the away team took the lead when a clinical finish from substitute Jouini found the back of the net to give Esperance a 1-0 lead at the break.
The start of the second half saw KCCA take the game by the scruff of the neck as they controlled the possession stakes, but like the first half their shooting in front of goal was horrible as they squandered chance after chance.
On the hour mark Allan Okello came close to levelling matters for the home side, but his ferocious shot from the edge of the box sailed inches over the crossbar.
The Tunisian side came into the game after that and nearly doubled their lead in the 78th minute when a 16-yard shot from Anice Badri shaved the wrong side of the woodwork.
Ten minutes later KCCA’s afternoon got even worse when Charles Lukwago received a straight red card after receiving his second booking.
In the end Esperance held on for the win which guarantees them a spot in the knockout stages of the CAF Champions League.
The loss for KCCA sees them still in third place in Group A with three points from four games, tied with bottom place Township Rollers but they are in action against Al Ahly on Saturday night.
KCCA (0) 0
Esperance (1) 1 (Jouini 41’)
KCCA: Lukwago, Musana, Muwanga, Timothy Awany, Kizza, Kirabira, Sadam Juma (Ikara 90’), Poloto, Mutyaba (Bukenya 55’), Okello, Henry Kaddu (Obenchan 65’).
Esperance: Ben Cherifia, Amine El Meskini (Mahmoud 76’), Rabee, Dhaouadi, Chemmam, Coulibaly, Ghilane Chaalali, Bguir, Badri (Khenissi 80’), Magri, Youcef Belaili (Jouini 19’).