Esperance de Tunis have kept the defence of their CAF Champions League title on course after they edged past Chad’s Elect Sport to secure a berth in the group stage.
The Blood and Gold claimed a 2-1 home win at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Friday night, taking the tie 3-2 on aggregate following a 1-1 draw in the first meeting earlier in the month.
However, the Tunisians were made to fight hard for their victory and will need to up their game for the group phase which begins later this year.
The Chad team claimed a shock lead late in the first half, with Hassan Ibrahim silencing the home crowd and cancelling out Fedi Ben Choug’s away goal from the first leg in N’Djamena.
Esperance came out for the second half determined to get themselves back in the contest, but they were frustrated until just after the hour mark, when Ibrahim Ouattara finally struck home to level the game at 1-1 and the tie at 2-2 overall.
With momentum now on their side, the North Africans pressed for a killing blow and the goal duly arrived in the 83rd minute, with Abderraouf Benghit striking home to put Esperance in front.
The Tunisians join South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Petro de Luanda of Angola in securing progression on Friday.