Dubliner Ayman Ben Mohamed wins African Champions League as ES Tunis stun Al Ahly

Fri, Nov 09 2018

Ben Mohamed spent the first half of the 2016 season with Bohs, where his eye-catching performances earned him a call-up to the Tunisian national team. Credit: Tom Beary

Former Bohemians, UCD and Longford Town winger Ayman Ben Mohamed played 90 minutes as Espérance Tunis hauled back a two-goal first leg deficit to win the African Champions League.

Espérance trailed 3-1 to Egyptian champions Al Ahly following the first leg in Cairo and their prospects looked bleak as half time approached with the game still scoreless.

Saad Bguir put the home side in front on the night in first half injury time, however, and his second nine minutes after the break put them ahead in the tie on goal difference for the first time.

Anice Badri settled any remaining nerves four minutes from time as he made it 3-0 to Espérance on the night, and 4-3 on aggregate.

Ben Mohamed missed the first leg last week with an injury but recovered in time to keep a clean sheet in the second leg to cap off a remarkable change of fortunes for the Dublin-reared playmaker.

The 23-year-old played on the wing during his four years in the League of Ireland but has been converted to a left-back by Espérance coach Moine Chaabani and made the spot his own.

Ben Mohamed came through the ranks with St Joseph’s Boys before joining UCD’s under-19 set-up as a 17-year-old in 2012.

After two years in the senior ranks, he moved onto Longford Town and the following year to Bohemians.

There his talent was spotted by the Tunisian FA, for whom he qualifies through his grandfather, and he was surprisingly called up for a friendly against Botswana in May 2015.

Three months later, the Tunisian champions agreed a deal with Bohemians for his signature.