CAF Quarters: Egypt, Tunisia heavyweights clash as action resumes

Al Ahly of Egypt and Tunisia's Esperance will lock horns in the first leg of CAF Quarter finals in Cairo on September 16, 2017 in Alexandria and the revers match is expected in Rades Stadium in Tunisia.

With ten titles between the two sides made up of eight for record winners Ahly and two for the Esperance; it's a highly anticipated game between familiar foes, with 14 previous meetings at the continental level between 1990 and 2015. 

All but two of the past clashes between the rivals were in the premier continental club championship. The duo first met in the then African Cup of Champions Clubs (now CAF Champions League) at the 1/8th round in 1990. 

After two barren draws Esperance won via penalties to progress. The second meeting came 11-years later at the last four of the 2001 CAF Champions League. The tie ended in a stalemate again but Ahly had the upper hand on away goals after a 1-1 tie on aggregate, going on to lift the title after beating Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa 4-1 on aggregate in the final. In 2007, they renewed their rivalry at the group stage, with each side winning at home; 3-0 for Ahly and 1-0 for Esperance. 

The last encounter between the North African giants was in 2015 when they met at the CAF Confederation Cup group stage. Ahly won both legs; 3-0 in Suez and 1-0 at Rades. Of the 14 meetings, Ahly has emerged victors on five occasions, three for Esperance with six meetings failing to produce a winner.

FIFA Club World Cup

 Ahly has scored 14 goals compared to Esperance's eight. Ahly’s 19 African club titles and Esperance’s five makes the fixture one of the most sought after especially with a place at the last four at stake in the race for the 2,500,00 US Dollars prize-money and the ticket to represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup in United Arab Emirates in December.

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