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Fasil Kenema, CS Sfaxien Play Out Stalemate

Fasil Kenema and CS Sfaxien played out to a goalless draw in the first leg of the 2022/2023 CAF Confederation Cup second preliminary round played at     Bahir Dar Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Both struggled to retain possession in the beginning, but it was Seyoum Kebede’s men who dictated terms in the opening stages as Fikadu Alemu received a free-kick in the nimenth minute after he was fouled but their attempt went off Aymen Dahmen’ posts.

Sfaxien started to settle down in the 15th minute and Husein Ali’s shot sailed wide after partnering well with Ismail Diakhite and Achraf Habbesi in the heart of the park, seconds later, a follow up shot by Aziz Saihi was blocked from a great pass by Alaa Ghram.

In the 26th minute,  Fasil Kenema kept Sfaxien in their own half as Habtamu Gezahegn continued to show his class allowing Yihun Endeshaw some space but Shimeket Gugsa’s shot went straight to Dahmen.

Gezahegn continued to dominate and he unleashed a beautiful set-piece which deceived Dahmen, who almost fumbled into his own net.

After 35 minutes of play, Abdallah Amri pushed forward as time was slowly ticking against the hosts in search of an opener.

In the last five minutes, a brilliant interchange of passes between  Fares Neji, Hussein Ali and Diakhite saw Mohamoud Nasraoui’s shot straight to Michel Samake’s hands as both sides head to the tunnel with no goals to show for it.

South Africa produced a better showing in the second half, with Tau forcing Shumba into a superb save in the 51st minute to deny the winger’s fierce drive from hitting the back of the net.

Bafana were then strangely awarded a free-kick on the edge of Warriors area in the 56th minute after Marshal Munetsi fouled Gift Links inside the area.

Yihun Endeshaw should have broken the deadlock in the 68th minute when he pass played clear by midfielder, but the striker hesitated, allowing Chadi Hammeni to execute a superb tackle to clear the danger.

And although both sides through caution to the wind in the final 15 minutes or so, neither side could penetrate the other’s defence and were resigned to sharing the spoils.

CS Sfaxien now must win the return leg match to go through. Any draw with goals scored will see them take the exit Fasil Kenema as would progress on the away goals rule.

In the event of the return match ending on a goalless draw again, the winners will be decided in a penalty shoot-out.

Photo credit: Tikvah Sports Images





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