Sunshine Stars humbled at home by Esperance.
Nigerian club side Sunshine got their Orange CAF Champions League off to a less colourful start with a home defeat to defending champions Esperance of Tunisia. The visitors won 2-0 and showed intent right from the first whistle as they immediately attack Sunshine .
Izu Azuka of Sunshine Stars made a brilliant run down the flank but his pull back went across the goal line with his colleagues unable to convert it. Fifteen minutes into the game the visitors looked composed and their threats on Sunshine goal increased so it was not a surprise when the first goal of the game came in the 17th minute after Harrison Afful , the Esperance’s Ghanaian defender went on a counter attack, dribbled past two defenders before making a beautiful pass to his team mate Msakni Youssef who expertly scored the opening goal.
Sunshine almost cancelled out the goal immediately when Ojo Dayo hit the cross bar in the 18th minute. He also came close in the 22nd minute but his header went high above the goal post. Izu Azuka’s free kick from close range was blocked in the 28th minute of the game.The visitors controlled the game effectively and got their second goal in the 44th minute through Ndjeng Joseph Yannick who benefited again from some enterprising play by Afful . The Cameroonian striker shot from outside the box.
The home team came more into game strong in the second half and were more threatening as they searched for a comeback. Azuka nearly got a goal when his bicycle kick attempt just went wide in the 65th minute. The introduction of Dele Olorundare in place of Tamen added bite to the attack with Dele and Ajani troubling the defence of Esperance but the Esperance defence stood their ground. Azuka’s effort was cleared off the goal line in the 83rd minute. Esperance shored up their defence in protection of their lead and Ettraoii Majdi was pulled out to be replaced by Oussama Boughnmi. Sunshine continued to threaten till the end of the game but could not cancel out any of the goals.The game ended 2-0 in favour of Esperance.
HOSTS COUNTRIES OF NEXT CAF COMPETITIONSOrange CAN 2012
REGULATIONS / PUBLICATIONSCAF Statutes