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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Sfaxien come back from two goals down in CAFCC thriller to draw Étoile du Sahel

CS Sfaxien suffered a two goal setback in the first-half but put in a determined effort to fight back and earn a point against fellow Tunisian side Étoile du Sahel on Sunday in CAF Confederation Cup play. The result keeps Group C wide open as Sfaxien stay on top with Étoile one point behind going into the final two fixtures for the team. The other Group C match in Burkina Faso between hosts Salitas and Senegalese club Jaraaf will take place tomorrow.

Étoile brought in plenty of confidence from maintaining an excellent goalscoring record recently and they were fearless on the road. CSS were slow to get going and in the tenth minute the laboring defense was exposed by a focused Étoile attack. Wajdi Kechrida made a savvy run to get free down the right flank and crossed low, causing CSS keeper Aymen Dahmen to weakly parry the ball into the path of the onrushing Aymen Sfaxi for the finish. Sfaxi then created the second in the 32nd minute by assisting Tunisia national team member Kechrida for a slick strike.

All of Étoile’s momentum went away in the 69th minute, however, when CSS player Azmi Ghouma scored a candidate for goal of the tournament. Following up from outside the box on a cleared corner-kick, Ghouma waited for the ball to drop then struck an ambitious volley perfectly, sending it flying into the corner past a stunned Walid Kriden in the Étoile goal. Despite the stunning goal it looked like Étoile might still escape with three points, but a clumsy challenge in the penalty area gave CSS a spot-kick in stoppage time. Firas Chaouat made no mistake to equalize and ruin Étoile’s hopes of a road victory.

Highlights of the match are below.