Caf Confederation: Hearts of Oak set for a miracle against Esperance

TEAM NEWS:
Emmanuel Hayford and Shaun October have all recovered fully for Hearts of Oak ahead of Esperance de Tunis clash while Soulama Abdoulaye who for the past two weeks have not been with the team due to his international duty with Burkina Faso have returned into the team.

 Esperance de Tunis over the weekend had their Portuguese trainer, Jorge Morais quitting his post but in their set up they do have injury concerns with Yannick N’jeng out of the game.

MATCH PREVIEW
Hearts of Oak will host Esperance de Tunis in the second leg tie of the final round of qualifies in the Confederation cup on Saturday at the Accra sports stadium.

The Phobians lost the first leg in Tunis by 4 goals to nothing; a game that the home side dominated as they had numerous chances to score more. As the task look much difficult for the Ghanaian side they are very optimistic of eliminating Esperance de Tunis from the competition.

‘We know we lost the first leg 4-0 but that score line is a thing of the past, we have the second leg to redeem our image and we are very optimistic of eliminating Esperance de Tunis,’ Robin Gnagne told Allsports.com.gh.

Since Hearts of Oak got humiliated in Tunis, domestically they have played 3 games, the Phobians beat Elmina Sharks 3-0 in an Elite cup game, 1-0 against third-tier side Afienya City and 3-0 against Tamale Utrecht in an FA cup game while Esperance de Tunis in their final league game before enplaning to Ghana they trounced Gafsa 4-1.

This is the third time the Phobians will have to dig deep in order to perform a miracle, the first one was in 1979 against Zambian side Mufulira Wanderers in the African club championship [now the Caf Champions league], Hearts of Oak lost 5-2 in the first leg but in the second leg the Ghanaian side struck three goals in 20 minutes to qualify on a 5-5 aggregate.

The second miracle was in 2006 against Ethiopian side, ST. George, the first leg score line was 4-0 against the Phobians but in the second leg at the Obuasi Len clay sports stadium it was a laughable story as Hearts of Oak scored 3 goals in the space of 35 minutes in the first half the Ethiopian side abandoned the game claiming the referee was not being fair to them.

And now the Phobians have to conjure a miracle against an experienced Esperance de Tunis who for the past 15 years have been consistent in Africa club championship.

‘We are here to complete what we started, we won the first leg in Tunis 4-0, the second leg might not be easy for us but our aim is to qualify because we are not going to be complacent,’ Esperance attacker Samuel Ekuok told Allsports.com.gh.

Can the Phobians performed their third miracle or will Esperance de Tunis do the double over them? Stay glued to Allsports.com.gh for live updates on the match from 2:00pm.

The winner of the two legs will qualify to the group stage of the Confederation cup.

HEAD TO HEAD
Hearts of Oak have played Esperance de Tunis 3 times in Africa club championship, the Phobians have won 2 and lost 1, 11 goals have been scored in this fixture, Esperance de Tunis leading the pack with 6 goals as against 5.

2000[Caf Champions league final first leg]
Esperance de Tunis 1      Hearts of Oak   2
2000[Caf Champions league final second leg]
Hearts of Oak   3     Esperance de Tunis 1
2015[Confederation cup 1/8 first leg]
Esperance de Tunis 4   Hearts of Oak 0
2015[Confederation cup 1/8 second leg]
Hearts of Oak?     Esperance de Tunis?

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