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Esperance Retain CAF Champions League Title In Controversial Circumstances

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

CAF Champions League holders, Esperance of Tunisia, retained their title after they were declared winners following a 1-0 win over Wydad Athletic Club in the second leg of the final on Friday at the Olympic Stadium in Rades, near Tunis.

The first leg had finished 1-1 in Rabat, Morocco, the week before with the defending champions, Esperance, holding the advantage going into the return leg.

Mohamed Youcef Belaili beautifully struck curler that zoomed into the top corner four minutes before the break after a good display of trickery by Ayman Ben Mohamed gave the host the lead.

But the controversial point of the game was on the hour mark when Wydad's Walid El Karti's headed goal was disallowed controversially.

Esperance Retain CAF Champions League Title In Controversial Circumstances

Wydad's players and technical team refused to continue as they requested for a VAR review which the referee said was impossible due to a malfunction on the system.

The game stalled for over an hour before referee, Papa Bakary Gassama, whistled to end the game and Esperance declared winners after much consultations.

The title, which is Blood and Gold's fourth title overall, now places them with the likes Al Ahly of Egypt, TP Mazembe of DR Congo and Nigeria’s Enyimba as teams to win the premier continental club championship back-to-back title.