Tunisian side Esperance has progressed to the quarter finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League.
after picking a point in a 1-1 draw against Sudanese side AL Merreikh in Libya.
The point put Taraji to 10 points on top of Group D, putting up an unassailable lead of five points to third placed Merreikh.
whose hopes now hang in the balance with one round left to play.
Paulo Sergio scored the equalizer for the Sudanese side at the stroke of 90 minutes from the penalty spot.
with Esperance reduced to 10 men following Raed Bouchniba’s second yellow card from the foul that led to the penalty.
𝗧𝗢 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗟 𝗘𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 ✅
🇹🇳 @ESTunis1919 are off to the #TotalEnergiesCAFCL quarter-finals for the 7th consecutive time! pic.twitter.com/VvGdlQTXsw
— TotalEnergies CAFCL – TotalEnergies CAFCC 🏆 (@CAFCLCC) March 17, 2023
The opening half was conservative from both sides and chances were few and far in between.
Esperance opened the scoring with their first real chance in the 23rd minute, when Mohammed Ben Hamouda .
capitalized on a defensive mistake to pick the ball and plant beyond the keeper.
Esperance had chances to draw level before the break, with Matheuzinho twice coming close .
but both his attempts were blocked by keeper Moez Ben Cherifia in the 38th and 41st minutes.
Ben Cherifia also made a brilliant save to keep out Brayan Angulo’s well struck shot.
Merrikh came back in the second half under pressure to get back into the game.
with their hopes of qualification hanging in the balance.
They were finally rewarded at the stroke of 90 minutes when Sergio scored from the penalty spot.
Merrikh will travel to Cairo to play Zamalek in their last group match, but this might just be for statistic.
if CR Belouizdad pick maximum points against the Egyptian White Knights in the late kick off on Saturday.