After Al Hilal stunned TotalEnergies CAF Champions League rivals Esperance 3-1 on Friday, its manager, Florent Ibenge, praised his team’s camaraderie and spirit.
The Sudanese team’s surprising start in Group C continued as they stunned the Tunisians in their “home” city of Dar Es Salaam thanks two goals in the first half.
Only one week had passed since Hilal’s campaign opener, a loss to Petro Atletico of Angola.
However, they came back spectacularly, prompting coach Ibenge to praise a remarkable giant-killing effort in his post-game remarks.
“We were the underdogs but came with a different strategy, pinning Esperance early and getting important goals that lifted us,” stated the delighted tactician.
Ibenge also praised his committed players for closely following instructions and working tirelessly as a cohesive unit.
“I thank all my players for their superb teamwork and efficiency as they did everything asked of them,” he added.
The enthusiastic Sudanese club on their incredible night was further boosted by the enthusiastic support of Tanzanian onlookers in Dar Es Salaam.
“I also want to thank the Tanzania fans whose support motivated us to feel at home,” continued Ibenge.
Al Hilal, who started the match as outsiders in Group C, showed incredible heart to upset the likes of legendary giants Esperance.
The shocking outcome completely opens up the division, as all four clubs will be tied for third place if Etoile du Sahel prevails over Petro Atletico at home on Saturday before Matchday Three.
For the time being, though, coach Ibenge can enjoy seeing his underdog team play like a family and pull off a memorable boilover in the TotalEnergies Champions League.