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Etoile Sahel win African Champions League

CAIRO, Nov 9 (Reuters) Etoile Sahel of Tunisia produced a massive upset with a 3-1 away win over holders Al Ahli to win a first African Champions League title today.

The win denied the heavily fancied Egyptian club a record-breaking sixth title after a goalless draw in the first leg last month.

Etoile Sahel scored against the run of play in first-half stoppage time through Afouene Gharbi and then added two killer blows in time added on at the end of match thanks to Amine Chermiti and Moussa Narry.

In between, Al Ahli equalised through defender Emad Al Nahhas who was then sent off on the hour mark for a professional foul.

Poor marking allowed Gharbi to net the opener for Etoile Sahel, who had twice seen the ball rocket back off their own woodwork as Al Ahli went straight on the attack.

Gharbi swept home a ball dragged back into the penalty area by captain Sabeur Ben Frej.

Al Ahli replied five minutes into the second half as they resumed their attacking play with Al Nahhas powering home ahead from a corner.

He was sent off 10 minutes later by Morocco referee Abderrahim El Arjoune after tugging back teenage striker Chermiti who had broken free.

Al Ahli, who needed to score again to avoid defeat on the away goals rule, made two quick changes to try and open up play but with a man short found it hard to break through the Tunisian team's defence.

Etoile, who lost the 2004 and 2005 Champions League finals, then sealed their triumph with two breakaway goals in stoppage time.

The first came for 19-year-old Chermiti, his eighth of the tournament, as he outpaced a tired defence. Narry shot from the edge of the area four minutes later to add further to Al Ahli's humiliation.

The home team's coach Manuel Jose was pelted with objects by angry home fans as he received a losers' medal at the end of the game.

Etoile Sahel have now won all of Africa's annual club competitions. They will represent the continent at next month's Club World Cup in Japan.

Reuters SBA VP0200

Story first published: Saturday, November 10, 2007, 2:32 [IST]
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