RADES/ CASABLANCA — Tunisia’s Esperance staged a second-leg quarter-final fightback to defeat TP Mazembe of DR Congo 3-0 and to set up a showdown against Morocco’s Wydad of Casablanca in the semi-finals of the African Football League (AFL).
Having lost the away first-leg 1-0, the Tunisian giants roared back at home to overhaul Mazembe with goals from Ghaith Ouahabi, Oussama Bouguerra and Mohamed Amine Tougai sealing a 3-1 aggregate victory.
Mazembe keeper Baggio Siadi was inspired early on, denying efforts from Rodrigues and Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane to keep the tie goalless, cafonline reported.
But Esperance’s pressure finally told on the cusp of half-time when Ouahabi flicked in Houssem Teka’s corner to level the tie.
Mazembe almost punctured the electric atmosphere soon after the break as Glody Likonza forced a save from Amanallah Memmiche.
Yet there was no stopping Esperance’s second goal as Bouguerra converted Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane’s low cross on 76 minutes.
Tougai then headed into an empty net from Yanis Sassi’s free-kick to put the result beyond doubt on 83 minutes.
Despite boasting several previous CAF Champions League triumphs, Mazembe could not contain wave after wave of Esperance pressure.
It maintains Esperance’s strong home record in African competitions and sets up a semi-final clash with Wydad Casablanca.
Wydad Athletic put up a dominant display tonight to thrash Enyimba 3-0 in the second-leg of their quarter-final tie.
Having won the first-leg 1-0 in Uyo on Sunday, the Moroccan side eased to the semi-finals of the new competition 4-0 on aggregate.
The two-time African champions and the current holders of the Nigeria Premier Football League title put up little resistance as the hosts piled on attack after attack.
Wydad took the lead in the 15th minute when Ayoub el-Amloud poked the ball past Enyimba goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke from close range, profiting from slack defending.
The hosts had several more opportunities to stretch their lead until they eventually broke through again five minutes from half-time.
Jamal Harkass reacted quickest to jab the rebound into the net, with the statuesque Enyimba defenders caught on their heels, after Olorunleke initially saved the Wydad player’s header off a free-kick.
It was all over just before the break as Morocco international Yahya Attiat-Allah rounded off a swift move with a near post finish.
It could have been more humiliating for Enyimba but Wydad eased off in the second half and Olorunleke made some decent