Esperance boss Maaloul says Ahly clash is the most important match of season

Ahram Online , Thursday 11 May 2023

​Esperance de Tunis coach Nabil Maaloul said on Thursday that his team's goal is to win the CAF Champions League title, describing their upcoming clash against Ahly as the most important match of the season.

Nabil Maaloul
File Photo: Esperance de Tunis Coach Nabil Maaloul. Al-Ahram

The Tunisian giants will host Ahly on Friday at Hamadi Agrebi Stadium in Tunis in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, with the second leg scheduled to take place one week later in Cairo.

"It is the most important game for us this season," Maaloul said during the pre-match news conference on Thursday.

"Players should believe in themselves and their ability to win the game despite their negative results during the past two games.

“But I am fully confident in my team, and if I am not, I will quit my post."

Esperance have failed to win in their last three matches across all competitions, raising doubts about their chances against a tough opponent like Ahly.

"Players are determined to win the game, whatever the name of our opponent. It is our doctrine in Esperance," Maaloul added.

"We will play at home and will be looking to earn a positive result."

The former Tunisia coach expressed his disappointment at playing the game behind closed doors after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ordered the club to play four home games without fans due to a recent fan riot during the team's match against the Algerian side JSK in the quarter-final.

"I am very disappointed to play behind closed doors, but we are determined to perform well in any occasion," Maaloul concluded.

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