Taraji Dawla Takes Over

Last night, in Rades, Tunisia, Esperance de Tunis - Taraji by their Arabic nickname - hosted Egypt's Al-Ahly in the second leg of the CAF competition final. Esperance arrived with a 3-1 deficit from the first leg in Alexandria. The media storm, both in Egypt and Tunisia, went a long way in whipping up the atmosphere all week following a controversial refereeing display in the final's first leg.

Around 12,400 police officers and 4,500 soldiers were deployed to the Rades Stadium to make sure the event was tightly controlled, with 60,000 fans filled the stands.

Before the match, Taraji fans threw stones at Al-Ahly's bus and injured Hesham Mohamed, the Egyptian midfielder.

The match itself was the definition of a North African volcano. Non-stop singing from the stands and choreographed displays from the "ultras" - the hardcore fans - provided the perfect backdrop to such a battle.

While the game started defensively, the first half's extra time brought out the message - Taraji are here for revenge. Saad Bguir finished a great move by Anice Badri and Taha Khneissi and made it 1-0 for the Tunisians.

Al-Ahly had played without inspiration and it cost them the great advantage they had built up in the first game. In the second half, Taraji pressured the Egyptians back to their own goal and gained the second goal with another counter-attack that looked like it came from a video game. 

It was Saad Bguir again, who headed the ball home from close range and made it 2-0. Taraji were already the champions, with time to spare.

Al-Ahly tried, but without Walid Azaro, sent off in the first leg for tearing his own shirt in order to get a penalty, they simply looked tired and unmotivated.

In the crucial dying moments, Esperance's Anice Badri took the ball, tricked three Al-Ahly players and sent a beautiful shot to the left of goalkeeper El-Shenawy. The scoresheet read 3-0, and the Tunisian volcano of Taraji exploded.

Taraji won their third African Champions League title - the 21st continental title for Tunisian teams in African competitions. 

Coach Moien Chaabani, in just his fourth ever match as a professional coach, is enjoying true continental glory at the age of 37. He is the youngest coach ever to win the African Champions League. His triumph makes it a third-time-in-a-row, that a local African coach has won the title.

Pito Mosimane won in 2016 with South African side Mamelodi Sundowns, and Hossein Amouta's Wydad Casablanca took the title in 2017.