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Football | CAF Champions League

Esperance © Action Images

Semifinal beckons for Esperance



Esperance are on the verge of securing their semifinal berth in the 2013 CAF Champions League when they host Angolan side Recreativo do Libolo in Rades.

A win for Esperance on Saturday will cement their semifinal place with a game to spare.

The 1994 and 2011 African club champions have nine points from four games heading into their penultimate Group B match.

Esperance coach Maher Kanzari has further stressed the importance of doing well at home this weekend in the wake of Tunisia's elimination from the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers by tiny Cape Verde last Saturday.

"This match takes place in a specific context for our football especially after the disaster experienced by the national team," Kanzari said.

"Tunisian clubs will remain the refuge of Tunisian football at this time and I hope we resume a success."

And Esperance also face Libolo with revenge on their mind.

Libolo shocked the two-time champions 1-0 in their first leg Group B meeting at Calulo in July.

"We respect them and certainly, they beat us at the inaugural day but we were not ready," Kanzari said.

"But just like any team playing at this level it is a different game altogether."

Meanwhile, Libolo know defeat this weekend will almost certainly end their semifinal quest.

Libolo are third on four points, three behind second placed Cotonsport of Cameroon who rallied to frustrate them on match-day-three on September 1 to hold their hosts 1-1 after earlier beating the Angolans’ 2-1 in Garoua.

The results has left Libolo without a win in all their last three Group B games after a promising start with that win over Esperance on July 21.

Libolo trace their last away point in the competition this year was May 21 when they finished scoreless against Enugu Rangers of Nigeria.

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