Tunis register a draw at Wydad

CAF Champions League

Esperance secured a 1-1 draw in the CAF Champions League final first-leg against Wydad Casablanca in Rabat on Friday evening.
 
From the semi-final, Wydad made three changes in Brahim Nakach, Mohamed Onajem and Michael Babatunde, with Sameh Derbali and Junior Loksa the two switches for Esperance.
 
In a tense opening, Wydad found space on the wing 32 minutes in to work in Babatunde, who drew a low save off Moiz Ben Charifa.
 
For all their endeavour, Wydad were behind on 44 minutes when Fousseny Coulibaly tapped home a loose ball after Ahmed Tagnaouti failed to gather.
 
Parity looked restored a minute later when Ayoub El Amloud finished off at the near post, but the effort was chalked off by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) after a handball in the build-up.
 
The situation worsened for Wydad after Brahim Nakach was sent to the change room for a second bookable offence after 50 minutes.
 
Despite the numerical shortage, Wydad continued their adventurous nature with quick fire offensive changes in Aymane Hassouni in the 61st minute and Yahya Jabrane two minutes later.
 
Esperance struggled to move into advancing areas, as the Moroccans piled the pressure continuously.
 
In the last 20 minutes, Ismail El Hadad ruffled the side-netting from a tight angle after a low shot from the far side.
 
The pressure finally paid 79 minutes in when Cheick Comara found space in the centre of the area to head past Charifa.
 
After a lukewarm quarter, Wydad failed to lash home the winner deep into added time after Mohamed Onajem volleyed over from a one-on-one scenario.
 
Ahead of the return-leg set for next week Friday, the first-leg advantage fell to the Tunisians who carry the all-important first-leg.

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