Esperance Tunis – Match Report vs Al-Zamalek (07/03/2023)

After winning their first three games in the group stage of the CAF Champions League Esperance Tunis couldn’t secure a place in the next round quite yet. Away against Al-Zamalek the Tunisians played a very poor first half and went down 2-0, which included a very cheap penalty for the second goal. In the second half Esperance switched from a 4-3-3 formation to a 5-3-2, which gave them more control over the game. Despite scoring a quick goal though, they struggled to create a lot of danger. In the final minutes Zamalek even scored a third after a fantastic counter-attack.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Tunisian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 06/09/1999
  • Current club: Esperance Tunis
  • Career: Esperance Tunis
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Secondary position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane started as Esperance Tunis’ attacking midfielder and had a tough match against Zamalek. Especially in the first half, we saw very little of Ben Romdhane. Esperance had a tough time on the ball and wasn’t really able to progress it forward. If I had to guess, Ben Romdhane only received a handful of passes in the first 45. After the break, Ben Romdhane dropped back a line as Esperance switched to a 5-3-2, which made him more involved in the game.

Looking for his height some sources had a different answer, but according to Transfermarkt he stands at 1.85m, which looks quite accurate. Overall he is pretty average on the physical front. With his normal build, he did well in his ground duels, showing good intensity and aggression. The playmaker has decent acceleration and speed over longer distances, but it isn’t anything crazy. What also caught my eye is that he didn’t look like the most agile player, getting caught off guard by a simple body feint and not recovering very fast. I also saw some positive signs looking at his stamina and work rate as he was one of the two Esperance players who sprinted back when Zamalek scored their 3rd goal, although his defensive work wasn’t great there.

His qualities on the ball are really what could make him stand out as a player. Now in the match against Zamalek, he had a tough time to get going, but in the second half he showed me some glimpses of class, which make me believe that he has quite a high ceiling. Ben Romdhane was able to receive the ball in tight areas in the final third and was seemed to be one of the few players on the pitch, that was able to combine through the centre of the pitch. Esperance looked to be quite dependent on Ben Romdhane to be creative in the final third, as other players struggled to get anything done really. He showed great ball control, tight dribbling and kept his composure. Not everything he did was perfect, but I think he can show much more than this.

Rating – A1

Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane didn’t play a very good game, but showed me some signs that he would be able to perform on a higher level. A move to either France or Belgium could be a nice next step for him. I will have to rewatch him though to get a more complete view of his abilities and ceiling.


Mohamed Amine Tougai

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Algerian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 22/01/2000
  • Current club: Esperance Tunis
  • Career: NA Hussein Dey, Esperance Tunis
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mohamed Amine Tougai started as the left centre back in Esperance Tunis’ 4-3-3, where he often played a bit behind the right centre-back In the second half he also played on the left side when they switched to a 5-3-2, but with some more freedom to step out of the defensive line. The Algerian had a decent performance against Al-Zamalek but also showed some weaknesses throughout the match.

Standing at 1.91m Tougai is quite a monster physically. It looked like he had quite an average build with good upper-body strength. The Algerian had his hands full with Zamalek’s striker Seifeddine Jaziri, who looked pretty fast. Tougai showed that he is quite fast as well however, as he was able to keep up with his opponent over longer distances. His agility seemed to let him down though, turning quite slowly. In the air the 23-year-old didn’t really have any issues. He used his body well to keep Jaziri away and often didn’t even have to jump to win his defensive headers.

Tougai showed that he is quite composed on the ball, but he definitely isn’t the most technical player. In the first half Zamalek tried to press quite high and when Tougai was forced to play with his left foot, he had a hard time. At times he would step out of the defensive line with the ball at his feet, but his next pass would almost always be either to the side or just a backpass, not really using the space he created for himself. In the second half, he played a lot of long passes, which were a bit like a coinflip. He showed that he is able to play a nice switch, but it was 50/50 really.

Rating – B1

Mohamed Amine Tougai looked quite solid defensively, but I can see him struggle a lot against quick and agile players. Also his qualities on the ball didn’t really convince me.


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