Ethiopian torch bearers Kidus Giorgis and Tunisian giants Esperance played out a goalless draw on the 2017 CAF Total Champions League Group C encounter at the Addis Ababa Stadium.
The Horsemen came to the game after forcing an impressive draw against holders Mamelodi Sundowns whilst Esperance clobbered AS Vita Club of D.R. Congo 3-1 at home in match day one.
Kidus Giorgis welcomed top scorer Salahdin Said and midfielder Menetesnote Adane from suspension while winger Behailu Assefa missed out the tie after failing last minute fitness test. The game kicked off with a terrific atmosphere in the stadium as both sides saw the opening minutes of the onset cautiously. The Tunis outfit was much more dangerous on possessing the ball as Kidus Giorgis were deploying long balls to their target man Salahdin Said.
The Horsemen’s Ugandan goalie Robert Odongkara limped off in the 16 minute after suffering an injury to be replaced by second choice goalie Zerihun Tadele. Two minutes later Esperance custodian Moez Ben Cherifia easily collected a long range effort from Menetesnote. However, he interval’s best opportunity came from the visitors as Ghailene Chaalali long distance free kick parried away by Zerihun. Chaalali should have done better at the stroke of half time when he skied the ball over from close range after he beats the offside trap.
Following the resumption Kidus Giorgis looked the better side of the two as they squandered multiple goal scoring chances. Team captain Adane Girma struck inches wide after collecting a pass from Salahdin in the 49th minute before Burkinabe midfielder Abdulkerim Nikima’s effort sailed wide of the near post. In the 52nd minute Prince Waongo’s perfect delivery found Salahdin but the striker failed to connect the ball into the net.
The match official sent off Esperance midfilder Chaalali with a second yellow when he blatantly hitting Prince. With a man down Esperance opted to share spoils while the homers did little to exploit their one man advantage. Second half substitute Anice Badri shots off target whilst Nikima’s goal bound super shot was saved by Ben Cherifia as stoppage time.
The result leaves Esperance at the summit of Group C. Kidus Giorgis temporarily occupied second with 2 points. Kidus Giorgis are unbeaten in their last 6 Champions League outings while conceding none during the game.
In the group’s other duel, AS Vita Club and Mamelodi Sundowns lock horns in Kinshasa on Wednesday.
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