Sousse, Tunisia, March 14 2015 - Defending champions Esperance of Tunisia and record holders Ahly of Egypt are set to play a repeat of the 2014 African Men's Club Championship final when they meet on Monday to compete for the 34th edition crown at the Olympic Hall in Sousse, Tunisia. The competition winners will claim a berth at the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship in Brazil.
Esperance defeated rivals Etoile Sportive du Sahel 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17) in a semifinal attended by 1500 spectators, who cheered on the local team.
Ahly, on the other hand, cruised past their compatriots Somoha 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17) in a match dominated by the winners throughout.
Two Tunisian and two Egyptian clubs participated in the semifinals of the 2015 African Men's Club Championship following the quarterfinal matches held at the Olympic and Masaken Halls on Friday.
The final match will start at 17.00 and will be preceded by the bronze medal match between Etoile and Somoha at 14.30.
Esperance (TUN) v Etoile du Sahel (TUN) 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17)
Ahly (Egypt) v Somoha (Egypt) 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17)
Esperance came from a set behind to win three successive sets in their victory against surprise rivals Etoile du Sahel 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17) in the semifinal of the competition. Etoile had early dominance through their opposite Marouen Garci and outside hitter Hamza Nagga. Esperance rebounded aggressively to win three successive sets with their blockers putting in a strong performance. Etoile tried to get back into the match in the fourth set, but their reception was unstable.
Ahly of Egypt played their best to beat their compatriots Somoha 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17). The winners used quick attacks through their centers Abdel Halim and Ketat to gain an early lead in the first set. Somoha tried to claw their way back in the second set, with combinations led by setter Khalid Elfayoumi and Brazilian opposite Leison Costa, but Ahly won the key points to win a close second set and claim the third.
Zamalek (Egypt) v Ittihad Tangier (Morocco) 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 27-25)
Borj Bouaririj (Algeria) v setif ALG 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 26-24)
Zamalek of Egypt beat Ittihad Tangier of Morocco 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 27-25) in the playoffs for positions 5-8. Zamalek were disappointed not to play the final four, but controlled the match throughout, putting on strong show in defence and reception.
Borj Bouaririj of Algeria downed their rivals Setif in all-Algerian face-off 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 26-24), which was completely dominated by the winners.
Ahly Beni Ghazi (Libya) v Swehli 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-23)
FAR (Morocco) v Prisons (Kenya) 3-1 (25-16, 30-28, 23-25, 25-17)
Ahly Beni Ghazi from Libya beat Rivals Swehli 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-23) in the playoffs for places 9-12. Ahly took the matter seriously from the start of the game and claimed victory in three sets.
FAR of Morocco struggled to win against Prisons of Kenya 3-1 (25-16, 30-28, 23-25, 25-17), but put on a great show in the fourth set to claim victory.
Espoir (Congo RD) v Douanes (Burkina Faso) 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 25-11)
GSU (Kenya) v Autoridade (Mozambique) 3-1 (22-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-17)
Espoir of Congo RD overwhelm Douanes of Burkina Faso 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 25-11) in 13 to 16 place play off.
GSU Kenya overcame the sluggish start to beat Autoridade Mozambique 3-1 (22-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-17) after big resistance from Auroridade.
FAP (Cameroon) v KAVC (Uganda) 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 26-24)
APR (Rwanda) v Support United (Zimbabwe) 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-22)
FAP of Cameroon claimed a 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 26-24) victory over KAVC Uganda in the playoffs for places 17 to 20. The Cameroonian team made experience count to finish the job as early as possible.
APR of Rwanda dominated both attack and defence to defeat Support United Zimbabwe 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-22).
Nemostars (Uganda) v Daim Hamad (Sudan) 3-2 (25-27, 20-27, 25-13, 25-17, 15-5)
Atletico Clube (Cape Verde) v Alnahada (Sudan) Atletico withdraw
In the playoffs for places 21-24, Nemostars of Uganda grabbed a difficult win over Daim Hamad of Sudan 3-2 (25-27, 20-27, 25-13, 25-17, 15-5), in a match which lasted two hours. Atletico withdrew from their match against Al Nahada of Sudan.