Esperance coach resigns after Al Ahly's hat-trick in the "Champions"

Esperance coach Nabil Maaloul announced today his resignation following the big 3-<> loss to Egypt's Al Ahly in the first leg of the CAF Champions League semifinals in Tunisia at Rades Stadium. The coach and former player of Esperance published the decision to resign on his official page on the social networking site "Facebook.

"I decided to withdraw and submit my resignation to the president of the club, I call on all the fans to continue to stand behind the players and support them in the rest of the journey in the tournament, the cup and the African Champions League," Maaloul wrote. The coach, who previously won the CAF Champions League with Esperance in 2011, continued: "I understand the sadness and disappointment of Esperance after this difficult loss, and I apologize to all the fans for not being able to bring joy last night to the hearts of our ancient fans."

He added: "In the recent period, the task was not easy for me and the rest of the technical framework and the players for several reasons that are long explained in the current circumstance, but I tried with everything in my power to find appropriate solutions, overcome difficulties and achieve the best possible results." Esperance are going through their worst period at this stage with shaky results in the domestic league, where they lost against Sfaxien and Africain respectively before facing Al Ahly. The team is fifth in the standings, seven points behind leaders Etoile du Sahel (18 points). Esperance are competing for the Tunisian Cup title as they face Olympique Beji in the final round. Esperance had lost with a clean treble against Al Ahly yesterday, the sixth loss against the Egyptian team in African competitions in Tunisia.