Plateau United will advance to the Confederation Cup play-off round, where they will join the 16 winners of the Confederation Cup second round.
The Nigerian club secured a first-leg lead when they beat Esperance 2-1 at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Lagos and needed to avoid any form of defeat to progress to the group stage.
However, a controversial late penalty at the Stade Olympique in Rades gave Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane the chance to score a much-needed goal for the four-time African champions.
Bizarre penalty for Esperance
In the 82nd minute of the match, the Egyptian referee Ibrahim Nour El-Din sanctioned what seemed like a foul outside the area as a penalty for the Tunisian team.
Esperance spent the final stages of the game defending their lead against Jos’s team, who came out looking for a goal.
Victory now means Esperance will now advance to the Champions League group stage for the seventh time in a row.
Plateau United, on the other hand, drop to the Confederation Cup play-off round, where they will join the 16 winners of the Confederation Cup second round and a further 15 Champions League second round losers.
Reactions follow Esperance’s penalty
After the heartbreaking moment, the Nigerian took to social media to stop the Egyptian referee’s decision.
“How can this be a penalty?” one Twitter user said, with many others claiming the 2017 Nigerian champions were “robbed” of a place in the group stage.
Here are some reactions to the Esperance penalty.