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Football: Late Libolo goal shocks Esperance

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Recreativo Libolo of Angola delivered the first shock of the 2013 CAF Champions League group phase on Sunday with a 1-0 home win over Esperance of Tunisia.

Substitute striker Aguinaldo scored the lone goal three minutes into stoppage time at the tiny Estadio Municipal in the town of Calulo, 220 kilometres south of capital city Luanda.

Recreativo are competing in the mini-league phase of the leading African club competition for the first time while Esperance have reached the last three finals, winning one.

But reputations counted for nought in a lively opening half of the Group B game with Libolo goalkeeper Landu and opposite number Moez Ben Cherifia coming under pressure from attack-minded sides.

Esperance, twice African champions and four-time runners-up, introduced experienced Khaled Mouelhi to midfield with 20 minutes left and looked the likelier winners as time ticked away.

However, chances were missed and the 'Blood and Gold' from Tunis paid the price at the death as recently appointed Libolo coach Miller Gomes saw his hour-mark substitution pay off.

Libolo were impressive qualifiers for the mini-league phase of a competition offering a $1.5 million (1.15 million euros) first prize and a place at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in December.

The double national champions reached the group stage with five victories and a draw in home-and-away ties against Simba of Tanzania, El-Merreikh of Sudan and Enugu Rangers of Nigeria.

Esperance eliminated another Angolan outfit, Primeiro Agosto, in a qualifier and did not concede a goal in 449 minutes of African football this season before Aguinaldo struck.

The Group B fixture between Coton Sport and Ivorians Sewe San Pedro was not played as Cameroon are barred from international competitions by FIFA owing to state interference in the running of the game.

Orlando Pirates of South Africa were surprisingly held 0-0 by 2012 CAF Confederation Cup winners AC Leopards of Congo in freezing Soweto on Saturday as Group A kicked off.

Back in the group stage after seven years, a Buccaneers side showing some pre-domestic season 'rust' wasted several good chances while the visitors only had one serious chance to score.

The Zamalek-Al-Ahly Egyptian derby has been put back to Wednesday, and moved from Cairo to Red Sea resort El Gouna because of pro- and anti-government demonstrations after the military toppled President Mohamed Morsi.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130721/football-late-libolo-goal-shocks-esperance