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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 December 2007, 16:34 GMT
Etoile ready for Mexican challenge
Etoile du Sahel coach Bertrand Marchand
Bertrand Marchand believes Etoile can hold their own against Pachuca

African champions Etoile du Sahel believe they can hold their own against Mexico's Pachuca in the Club World Cup.

"Boca Juniors and AC Milan are both at a higher level than us, but we are 50-50 against Pachuca," Etoile du Sahel's French coach Bertrand Marchand said on the eve of Sunday's match.

"Pachuca are also a high-quality team who proved they are a strong team by becoming the continental champions. Their skills and experiences are good," he added.

"But African players are speedy, we are also the champions of our continent, and our players are crafty enough to strike the ball into the Pachuca goal.

"I believe we can cope with the champions of other continents."

Marchand admitted Etoile have a height advantage against Pachuca.

But he warned that the Mexicans' speed and skills could neutralize the height advantage.

"Maybe they have more experiences to play a big game than we have, but my players have nothing to fear and we have some speedy players," Marchand said.

"It's not a miracle or a surprise even if we win tomorrow."

Etoile caused an upset victory over defending Egyptian powerhouses Al Ahly in their continental final.

The winners of the match at the national stadium will take on South American champions Boca Juniors of Argentina in the semi-finals of the tournament

Italian powerhouse AC Milan are in the other half of the draw.

Pachuca coach Enrique Meza said: "We know we're going up against the African champions, so we've been studying them carefully.

"They're a fast and fearless side who will doubtless cause us a few problems."

"But we have enormous potential as well, and we believe in our chances of making the next round."



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