Espérance de Tunis suffered a 1-0 defeat to Al Merreikh in Khartoum on Saturday, in the first leg of their CAF Champions League round of 16 tie.
The winner was scored by Alaeddine Youssef from the spot in the 24th minute, after the locals were awarded a very controversial penalty.
The ‘Blood and Gold’ missed a couple of great chances in the first half, with Cameroonian striker Yannick N’Djeng unable to convert his opportunities.
However, Espérance’s keeper Sami Helal was to thank at the end of the encounter as Al Merreikh came close of doubling their advantage on several occasions, just to be denied by the 27-year-old between the Tunisian posts.
The two-time African champions are now left with no choice but to secure a two-goal cushion at home in the return leg in a fortnight, to extend their continental stay and book their spot for the last 8 of the prestigious tournament.