Last weekend, we witnessed the finals of both the CAF Champions League (CAFCL) and the AFC Champions League (ACL). As mentioned on the blog last week, both finals are very much unlike the UEFA Champions League final.
In the UCL, the final is a one-game event. But in these other two competitions, the final is a two-legged affair. Both teams get the chance to play in front of their home crowd and take advantage of the mathematics of the away goal rule.
In somewhat of a quick succession, the 2nd leg of these games will be played this week. And here’s what to expect:
CAF Champions League
The second leg of the final between Esperance of Tunisia and Al Ahly of Egypt will take place on Friday. And football fans on the continent are set for a showdown!
The first leg, a game which saw three penalties, was overshadowed by controversial refereeing calls. Two of the penalties awarded were controversially awarded to the Egyptians, as Ahly sealed a 3-1 win. But it’s all water under the bridge now and the Tunisians have to fight their way to the trophy.
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It’s the third time both teams will be facing off this season alone. Both teams have a long history of games between themselves; games that have been largely dominated by Al Ahly wins. The past 17 meetings between both sides have seen Esperance win just 3 times.
Will the second half be the highest scoring half yet again?
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AFC Champions League
On NairaBET, Persepolis of Iran has been priced at odds of 2.50 to win the second leg of the AFCCL final. On the other side of the pitch, Kashima to win is 2.70. It’s pretty tight to call, you may say.
And you’re absolutely right! Football is too random to call.
But what if we told you that Kashima Antlers won the first leg 2-0? Then surely the odds for this game are too good to be true! The Japanese side scored both goals in the second half of their home game as they defeated the Iranian club.
This was the first meeting between both sides ever.
Now the Japanese side has to protect their lead on a ground where Persepolis has not lost since they qualified for the knockout stages of the competition.
Can the trend continue this weekend?
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Kashima has scored in every away game they’ve played in the knockout stages of the competition this season. You can expect that the Iranians will be looking to keep them at bay while they go in search of the 2 goals that will draw them level and possibly more that will crown them champions of Asian football.