Esperance advance dramatically as semi-finals are set

22 May 2021
  • Defending champions Al Ahly reached the CAF Champions League semi-finals

  • Esperance, Kaizer Chiefs and Wydad also went through

  • Winners reach the FIFA Club World Cup

Al Ahly, Esperance, Kaizer Chiefs and Wydad are now closer to the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2021™. FIFA.com looks back on the CAF Champions League quarter-finals.

Semi-final line-up Wydad-Kaizer Chiefs Chabab Belouizdad-Al Ahly

Al Ahly

Ahly disappointed Brazilians at Qatar 2020 – they beat Palmeiras on penalties to bag bronze – and today it was time to dishearten The Brazilians. Having won part one of the quarter-final 3-1, Yasser Ibrahim headed the Red Devils into an early lead in Pretoria. Mamelodi Sundows equalised through Mosa Lebusa, but they couldn’t find another way past Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.

Did you know?

  • Ahly have won 42 domestic league titles – a figure bettered only by seven clubs across the world.

Esperance

Esperance appeared out with little over 20 minutes remaining of their last leg with Chabab Belouizdad. Goals from Raouf Benguit and Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane nevertheless sent the tie to penalties, where the Tunis titans won 3-2.

Did you know?

  • Founded 102 years ago, Esperance are the oldest club in Tunisia and one of the oldest in Africa.

Kaizer Chiefs

Gavin Hunt’s men carried a 4-0 into the second leg, but were made to sweat in Tanzania. Simba ran out 3-0 winners and only two superb Bruce Bvuma saves secured an aggregate victory for the South Africans. It put the Chiefs in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time.

“We’ve made history,” said Hunt. “It was very difficult today but we’re through.”

Did you know?

  • English indie-rock band Kaizer Chiefs, whose hits include Ruby, I Predict a Riot and Everyday I Love You Less and Less, is named after the South African club. It’s because the band hails from Leeds and Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe began his career with the Glamour Boys.

Wydad

Walid El Karti’s injury-time goal snatched Wydad a 1-0 win and 2-1 aggregate victory over MC Alger. The Casablanca were heading through on away goals until the 26-year-old midfielder, who scored the winner in the Champions League final in 2017, struck.

Did you know?

  • Wydad have now reached the Champions League semi-finals in five of the last six editions and three in a row.

African club champions

TitlesClubCountry
9Al AhlyEgypt
5ZamalekEgypt
5TP MazembeCongo DR
4EsperanceTunisia
3HaifaGuinea
3Canon YaoundeCameroon
3Raja CasablancaMorocco

Africans at the Club World Cup

Two African teams have reached the FIFA World Cup final. At UAE 2010, TP Mazembe caused a minor upset by beating Pachuca 1-0 and a major one by stunning Internacional, who beat Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Ronaldinho and Barcelona in the 2006 decider, 2-0. Goalkeeper Muteba Kidiaba was exceptional in the latter, but could do little to prevent Inter Milan winning 3-0 to lift the trophy.

At Morocco 2013, roared on by their home fans, Raja Casablanca beat Auckland City 2-1 and Al Ahly by the same score to reach the semi-finals. There, Mouhcine Iajour inspired a 3-1 win over Ronaldinho and Atletico Mineiro, before they gave Bayern Munich a stern test in a 2-0 loss in the final.

Aly Ahly, for their part, came third in 2006 and 2020 and fourth in 2012, with Etoile du Sahel the only other African semi-finalists in 2007.