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Espérance conquer Africa

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TUNIS — Espérance of Tunisia beat 10-man Wydad Casablanca from Morocco 1-0 inside the November 12 Stadium in Rades, near Tunis ON Saturday, to win this year’s Caf Champions League.

The first leg final in Casablanca had ended in a goalless draw a week ago for Espérance to be crowned champions on a 1-0 aggregate.

A 22nd-minute well-struck effort by Ghanaian defender Harrison Afful handed “The Blood and Gold” their second African championship having first won it in 1994.

Espérance will thus pocket a cash prize of $1,5 million and will represent Africa at next month’s Fifa Club World Cup in Japan.

Wydad played most of the game a man down after defender Mourad el Massane was sent off for a crude challenge on Esperance striker Yannick N’djeng at the end of the first half.

Afful’s strike came in the 22st minute of the game — the Ghanaian broke down the right hand side, cut infield and fired a powerful shot past Wydad’s young keeper Yassine Bounou.

It was an impressive finish, out of keeping with a match that was mainly ragged and patchy.

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