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Esperance de Tunis edge Mamelodi Sundowns


Tunisian side Esperance took a slender 1-0 advantage after the first leg of their TotalEnergies CAF Champions League semi-final against South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday night.

The pivotal goal came four minutes before half-time when Brazilian striker Yan Sasse rounded goalkeeper Ronwen Williams before slotting into an empty net after a clever through ball from Rodrigo Rodrigues.

Despite Sundowns having several chances to equalise in the second half, the Tunisian side held firm to take a lead into next week’s second leg in Pretoria.

Sasse missed a chance to double Esperance Tunis’ lead in the 63rd minute after hesitating in front of goal.

Sundowns had the ball in the net midway through the first half, but Aubrey Modiba’s finish was ruled out for offside.

After the break, Peter Shalulile went close for the visitors before Themba Zwane’s fierce drive was brilliantly saved by Esperance keeper Amanallah Memmich

The Tunisian shot-stopper was called into action again late on, pushing Thapelo Morena’s powerful strike over the bar as Sundowns pressed for a crucial away goal.

However, Esperance, bidding to win the Champions League for the fifth time, stood firm to take a narrow lead to the return leg

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