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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 October, 2004, 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK
Jeanne d'Arc 2-1 Etoile
By James Copnall
BBC Sport West African football correspondent

Senegalese club Jeanne d'Arc
Jeanne d'Arc won the first leg of the Champions League semi-final 2-1

Senegal's Jeanne d'Arc came from behind to dig out a narrow 2-1 first-leg lead over Etoile Sahel of Tunisia in their Champions League semi-final tie on Saturday.

Nigerian Emeka Opara gave the Tunisian side a head-start with a scrambled goal at the start of the second half.

But Jeanne d'Arc roared back, and promising striker Lamine Diarra scored two fine goals to win the game.

The Senegalese and Tunisians were then unable to add to the score, leaving this tie delicately poised going into the second leg.

The first half was a see-saw affair, with both sides creating and missing chances.

Any thoughts that semi-final nerves might induce caution were battered away by an extraordinary five-minute spell midway though the period.

At the start of the second half, Etoile's Kandia Traore waltzed round the keeper but could only prod his shot against the post.

Within minutes, Opara showed his team-mate how to finish, knocking home a loose ball following a poorly-cleared corner.

Yet the goal fired the Senegalese into action.

After an hour, Diarra set off on a great run, before collecting a lucky deflection and stabbing home the equaliser.

Diarra's second goal was top class as Gambian left-back Abdourahman Conateh lived up to his nickname of 'Roberto Carlos' with a storming run and cross, and Diarra's header slammed into the top corner.

From another Conateh cross, substitute Raymond Mendy almost increased Jeanne d'Arc's lead, while at the other end Opara missed the chance to equalise when heading narrowly over.

The second leg of the semi-final will be in Tunisia in two weeks' time.




SEE ALSO
Jeanne d'Arc into last four
17 Oct 04  |  African
Africa Sports 3-2 Etoile Sahel
16 Oct 04  |  African
Etoile Sahel 1-1 Bakili Bullets
26 Sep 04  |  African
2004 Champions League
28 Feb 03  |  African



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