On Friday night, ES Setif upset home side Esperance du Tunis at the Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi in Rades, defeating the four-time champions 1-0 to advance to the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League semi-finals.
After a blank first leg in Algiers last week, Abdelmoumene Djabou scored the lone goal in the 21st minute to give Algeria a win on the road and a 1-0 aggregate lead.
Setif needed at least a scoring draw to go to the final four in Rades, but they went one better, picking up a win on enemy soil and advancing to the last four for the first time since 2018.
With a beautiful finish in the 21st minute, Djabou broke the deadlock. After being provided by brilliant Riyad Benayad through ball after he pickpocketed Abdelkader Bedrane at the edge of the box, the forward waded past the keeper to tap into an empty net.
Setif had displayed intent before the goal, with Ahmed Kendouci heading just wide after Benayad had delivered a tempting cross from the right.
But Esperance tried to improve on their poor start, and Hamdou Elhouni had the finest chance of the first half, curling a shot inches wide after cutting in from the right.
The Tunisian side heaped on the pressure in the second half, and it was all Esperance.
Setif goalkeeper Sofiana Khedairia, on the other hand, stayed tall in goal to keep the score at 1-0 in his team’s favour.
He saved Ben Hammouda’s header with a stunning stop before Nigerian import Anayo Iwuala headed another chance inches wide.
Elhouni was denied by another full-flight save by the goalkeeper.
Esperance manager Radhi Jaidi made a change, bringing on bulky forward Kingsley Eduwo, who caused Setif new problems.
In the 66th minute, the Nigerian scored but was called back for offside.
Esperance were denied by the upright again two minutes later, this time when Ghaylen Chaaleli hit the woodwork with a low attempt from the edge of the box.
Chaaleli played a quick one-two with Eduwo in the 79th minute, but his strike from a tight angle rolled wide.
Esperance pushed everything they had into the attack, but Setif defended with their lives on the line to preserve their prospects of a third Champions League title alive.