CAF Champions League holders Esperance were eliminated by Zamalek in Friday’s quarter-final second leg despite winning 1-0 on the night at the Stade Olympique de Rades.
The Tunis outfit lost the first leg in Egypt 3-1 and needed to win the reverse fixture 2-0, or by three goals or more to progress to the semi-final.
However, they exited the competition on Friday 3-2 on aggregate after failing to overturn the first-leg deficit.
Moine Chaabani’s side started well and were rewarded for their bright start when Billel Bensaha converted a fifth-minute penalty to send the hosts into an early lead.
As it stood, the Tunisian side needed to score one more and keep things tight at the back if they wanted to make it through on away goals. However, their play lacked imagination for the rest of the half, and they struggled to fashion out quality opportunities.
They could only muster two extra attempts after their early goal and ended the half with a paltry three attempts.
Things didn’t improve after the interval, though, as Esperance continued to toil in the final third. Attempts were few and far between against visitors whose plan was to kill the tempo of the match where necessary by wasting time and committing tactical fouls.
This resulted in five bookings for Zamalek, with four coming after half-time.Article continues below
Esperance attempted only seven shots against the visitors and didn’t create any other clear-cut opportunities over the course of the game.
Zamalek will wait to know their semi-final opponent with the three remaining ties to be settled on Saturday