WED 21 JUNE 2017, 19:00,


Sfaxien grab a vital point in Rustenburg

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wed June 21, 20:55

An equaliser from Maher Hannachi ensured CS Sfaxien draw 1-1 in their CAF Confederations Cup, Group B match against Platinum Stars on Wednesday at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

The draw sees Jorge Costa's men moving to the second spot with seven points from four matches in the group and will hope to beat Mbabane Swallows on Friday, June 30 at home.

For the hosts, they found the back of the net through Bongonkosi Ntuli's strike as they failed to claim their maiden win in the group.

Despite a cagey start, the 18th minute saw a good shot by Waliou Ndoye as he pounced on a loose ball, but Stars' goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela was equal to the task and produced a brilliant save.

Dikwena pushed forward in the 24th minute and Ndumiso Mabena played a beautiful ball into the penalty area after beating his marker on the edge of the box, yet Abia Nale failed to capitalise on shaky handling by keeper Mohamed Gaaloul.

In the 32nd minute, Mzimela's good anticipation saw him producing a vital touch in the box from a cross as Costa's men kept knocking for an opening goal.

With three minutes to go the break, Hannachi received a brilliant pass in the box, but the striker failed to keep his shot on target with only Mzimela to beat.

It was 0-0 at half time.

It took the hosts 58 minutes to break the deadlock when Ntuli poked the ball home from close range after a wonderful cross from the right flank through Sphiwe Mnguni,1-0.

Hannachi tapped in a cross from the left wing by Firas Chouat in the 76th minute to make it 1-1.

With nine minutes to go, the North Africans nearly claimed the lead when Hannachi's effort was punched away by Mzimela whose positioning was spot on.

Dikwena also showed a sense of urgency and Robert Ng'ambi came close to finding the lead when he saw his well directed header going inches wide from a corner.

In the end, the South Africans failed to claim their first win in the competition as they will now face MC Alger away in Algiers on Friday, June 30.

Resulting from this draw, Willem Jackson's men remain placed at the bottom of the table with two points from two draws.

Platinum Stars: (0) 1 (Ntuli 58')
CS Sfaxien: (0) 1 (Hananchi 76')

Platinum Stars: Mzimela, Mnguni, Mwedihanga, Mlilo, Mpeta, Mere, Mathe, Ng’ambi, Nale (Senne 46'), Mabena (Links 83'), Ntuli (Shilongo 86')

CS Sfaxien: Gaaloul, Mathlouthi, Amamou, Dagdoug, Kamoun (Chouat 65'), Marzouki (Habbassi 77'), Niang, Meriah, Sokari, Hannachi, Ndoye

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