by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday May 15, 2018. 23:10


Township Rollers suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of hosts Esperance de Tunis in the CAF Champions League on Tuesday night.

The result at the Olympic Stadium in Rades saw the Tunisians rise to the top of Group A on four points, with Uganda’s KCCA in second on three points after they claimed a surprise 2-0 win over Al Ahly (who are bottom of the log) earlier in the day.

Esperance created all of the early pressure and called Rollers goalkeeper Mwampole Masule into several good saves in the opening quarter of the match.

However, the gloves-man was helpless to prevent Youcef Belaili opening the scoring in the 26th minute, as the attacker latched onto a poor defensive header and sent a low shot into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

Yet Rollers struck back against the run of play in 41st minute, as a free kick from Segolame Boy took a wicked deflection off the defensive wall to wrong-foot goalkeeper Moez Ben-Cherifa and bring the visitors level at 1-1.

The Blood and Gold came out firing in the second half and reclaimed the lead inside the first 60 seconds after the restart, with Anice Badri providing a fine finish from the right side of the penalty area which went in via the inside of the far post.

Rollers’ Masule was a hero through the remainder of the match, coming up with several outstanding saves to keep Esperance at bay, but the hosts finally added their third in the 78th minute when Bilel Mejri got on the end of a knock-down and easily finished from close range.

Badri then completed his brace in injury time with a brilliant solo goal to make it 4-1 and wrap up an emphatic victory for the North Africans.

The teams will return to Champions League action in mid-July, with Esperance hosting KCCA and Rollers welcoming Al Ahly to Gaborone.


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