In the quarter-finals, the team met Pachuca of Mexico, one of the best clubs in North America, especially after winning the CONCACAF Champions League title. But the Tunisian team managed to beat it with the goal of the Ghanaian player Moussa Narry in the 85th minute to be the second African team after Al-Ahly to qualify for the semi-finals. The team found itself against Boca Juniors in the semi-finals. ESS made a remarkable performance in the match in front of the eyes of Argentine legend Diego Maradona, who came to encourage his Argentine team. Boca Juniors narrowly won 1–0 to prevent ES Sahel from meeting AC Milan in the final. Aymen Mathlouthi one of the best goalkeepers in ESS who achieved almost all possible titles.
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Lotfi managed to win the CAF Cup in 1999 after overcoming big clubs such as Zamalek in the semi-final and Wydad Casablanca in the final. ESS continued his impressive performances in African competitions and the team reached the second place in 2000 in addition to withdrawing from the semi-finals against Club Africain. In the next season with the Serbian coach Ivica Todorov, the team won second place before being defeated in the Cup final against CS Hammam-Lif in the first match at the Stade 7 November in Radès which was opened for the 2001 Mediterranean Games. The team also reached the CAF Cup final in the same year before the defeat against JS Kabylie.
In the third-place match, ESS tied the host and the Asian champions Urawa Red Diamonds 2–2 after the goal of Chermiti for his team before the end of the game with a quarter of an hour, but the penalty shootout led to the victory of the Japanese team. ESS ended the World Cup in fourth place in his first appearance, making his fans welcome at Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport. This was one of the best periods in the history of Tunisian football because the victory of ES Sahel in the Champions League was accompanied by the victory of its compatriot CS Sfaxien with 2007 CAF Confederation Cup which made the African Super Cup with 2 Tunisian teams.
The team's return to the competition was accompanied by the arrival of Yugoslavian coach Božidar Drenovac and was able to win the league title and the Tunisian Cup after beating Club Africain 2–1 to achieve the first-ever double for the team. This period was also known as the retirement of legend Habib Moqou after great seasons with his team and Raouf Ben Amor finished the season as a scorer for his team with 8 goals. In the next season, the team finished the season in sixth place and defeated them in the quarter-finals of the Cup against Stade Tunisien in the quarter-finals 2–0, and Ben Amor finished the season as the scorer of his team again with 10 goals. Drenovac continued to lead the team to 1965 where they finished third in the league but withdrew from the cup early after the sudden defeat to AS Marsa 1–0 to end the five-year-old Yugoslav coach and Ben Amar finished the season as a scorer with his team for the third time with 12 goals.
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The French colonial authorities prevented the use of these colors, but with the insistence of the team leaders they prevailed and in the latter they played this kit. In English the name means Sport (or Athletic) Star of the Sahel (coast) In Tunisia, Étoile du Sahel is considered to be one of the best clubs. For many years it had a reputation of playing entertaining football. In fact, the club has evolved recently into a more professional outfit capable of winning trophies at home and abroad.
In 1992, ESS finished the season in fifth place and came out of Tunisia Cup in the semi-final against Club Africain on penalties. The 1993 season was disastrous for the team as they came in the ninth-place, the worst position they have ever had since the Tunisian independence, and a humiliating defeat against AS Marsa 4–0 in the semi-finals of the Cup. The president of the team, Hammadi Mestiri left the team that season to succeed him the club's son Othman Jenayah in the presidency of the club.
The team took second place in the local championship to become the node of the team and they came out of the semi-finals of the cup against Espérance on penalties and also was defeated in the African Super Cup against Enyimba. The team played in the same season the 2003–04 Arab Champions League before coming out in the second round against Al Ahly SC and Ismaily SC of Egypt with difficulty. At the end of the year, the legend Abdelmajid Chetali took charge of the team after reaching the final of the African Champions League for the first time in their history before being defeated against Enyimba in the final on penalty shootout. In 2005, the team went out of the final round of the cup against Espérance on penalties and took second place in the tournament after equal points with CS Sfaxien before FIFA decided to settle for the latter.
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