- Monday, 09 April 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Gambian champions Brikama United’s hopes of advancing to the next round of the 2012 CAF Champions League Competition was dealt a blow at the weekend after they lost 3-1 to defending champions Espérance Sportive de Tunis in Radès.
The defending champions qualified 4-2 on aggregate after the first-leg game ended in a 1-1 draw and move closer to the mini-league phase and a guaranteed minimum payday of 400,000 US dollars.
Espérance nicknamed “Sang et Or [Blood & Gold]” however first conceded a goal through a perfect Modou Lamin Sawo lob, less than 30 minutes into the game. The 24-time Tunisian League champions took the lead before half time after scoring twice through Wajdi Bouazzi [who scored for them in the first leg] and Youssef Msakni with the highly-rated Tunisia international flighting home a free-kick seconds before half-time.
The host team thus headed into the locker room with a 2-1 advantage lead at half time. In the second half, Espérance maintained domination as in the first half, missing goal scoring opportunities.
22-year-old Cameroonian striker, Hervé Yannick N’Djeng missed a penalty awarded to Espérance after a foul on Ghanaian defender Harrison Afful by a Brikama United defender.
It was the second half substitute, Karim Ben Hassan Aouadhi whose goal finally killed off the visitors’ valiant efforts.
After the game, 56-year-old Espérance coach Michel Decastel was quoted as saying in an interview, “We could have done better by scoring again in the second period but my players lack focus.”
“Even though they conceded a goal, my players showed character by equalizing and then winning to qualify,” a delighted Decastel said.
The African champions next face Dynamos of Zimbabwe in the next round.