Étoile Sportive du Sahel beat Constantine 2-0 in CAF Champions League opener on Friday. The Tunisian side launched impressive display to made a huge statement in Algeria ahead of the second leg in Stade Olympique de Sousse.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the first half after Soumaila Sidibe collected possession inside the Constantine half and dribbled past several opposing players before firing past goalkeeper Kheireddine Boussouf from close range.
ES Tunis began this campaign in bid to fight for a second CAF Champions League title after beating Al Ahly 3-1 in second leg to lift their first title in 2007. They have become one of the forces in the African club football for decades but have lost in recognition in recent times.
In their battle in Algeria on Friday, Constantine contained Étoile Sportive du Sahel’s early threats and got the chance to take an early lead after the game’s best chance within the interval fell to Assil Jaziri inside the box but the ES Sahel captain fired over the crossbar.
Jaziri completed move to ES Sahel from French side OGC Nice in July 2022 and has become a force in the attacking midfield for the Tunisian side since his move to the Tunisian Premier League.
The visitors sealed the 2-0 victory with Hamza Jelassi converting a penalty eight minutes into added time in northeast Algeria.
Etoile Sportive du Sahel are the only winners of all five CAF club competitions winning two titles each in the Confederation Cup, Super Cup, Cup Winners Cup and CAF Cup. For the CAF Champions League, they have one title that came in 2007 against record holders Al Ahly.
This is the 16th appearance of the Tunisian outfit in the Champions League. If they complete an aggregate victory next weekend will face ASKO Kara of Togo or FAR Rabat of Morocco.