Badri winner keeps Esperance top of Group D

Esperance JSK1

Anice Badri scored a 73rd minute penalty as defending champions Esperance remained unbeaten in the group stages of the Total CAF Champions League with a 1-0 victory over JS Kabilye in Rades on Friday.

Having won 2-0 on the opening weekend against Raja Club Athletic, Esperance remain top of Group D with six points and two consecutive clean sheets. Badri who scored in the 2-0 away victory at Raja struck from the spot after he had been brought down inside the box by Amir Belaili.

Esperance will remain thanking their lucky stars after Hamza Banouh missed a sitter for Kabilye inside the box with only two minutes left to play. A cross from the left found the burly forward unmarked and with only a simple tap in would have drawn his side level. But, he skewed his effort wide.

The Tunisians were the better side in the entire game and limited the visitors to a paltry 30percent in possession. Kwame Bonsu asked the first question when he took a sweet turn inside the box but his eventual shot was weak and straight to the keeper.

Kabilye had a chance in the 18th minute but Banouh could not connect his header unmarked on target after Mohamed Benchrifa’s cross found him isolated at the backpost.

Esperance continued to dominate and had another chance in the 37th minute but Badri’s glancing header inside the box went just wide after connecting to a Hamdu Elhouni cross. At the stroke of halftime, the enterprising midfielder came close once again when he dribbled inside the box but his shot was saved.

The home side stepped up the tempo in the second half. In the 66th minute, Khalil Chamam almost planted the ball into his own net as he tried to cut out a cross from Badri, but luckily the ball bounced wide.

After the goal, Esperance continued to push, but remained guarded to ensure the three points remain at home. They will be at home in the next match day next weekend when they welcome winless AS Vita Club while Kabilye will be away to Raja in Casablanca.