Gift goal takes Sfaxien back to top

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SFAX: Title holders CS Sfaxien of Tunisia regained top spot in Group A of the African Confederation Cup with a 1-0 win over Harras Al-Hodoud of Egypt this weekend.

The 26th-minute winner in the Mediterranean town of Sfax came gift-wrapped from Hodoud goalkeeper Mathurin Kameni, an elder brother of Cameroon and Espanyol guardian Carlos.

He allowed a low free kick from defender Issam Merdassi to slip under his body into the net at the 20,000-seat Taieb Mhiri Stadium for the lone goal of a match in which Sfaxien created most of the scoring chances.

Kameni crowned a disastrous performance when he was sent off one minute from full-time by the Mauritanian referee for fouling Ghanaian Agyemang Opoku on the edge of the penalty area.

Hodoud had used three substitutes so coach Tarek Al-Ashry placed striker Ahmed Abdulghani between the posts and he did well to tip over a free kick seconds before the final whistle.

It was swift revenge for Sfaxien, bidding to become the first club to successfully defend the title, who crashed 3-1 at African debutants Harras last weekend.

The result maintained a pattern of home victories this year in the pool phase of the African equivalent of the European UEFA Cup with 12 of 13 fixtures delivering success to the host club.

Sfaxien have seven points and Hodoud six from four outings while Club Africain of Tunisia have four and InterClube of Angola three ahead of a clash in Luanda Sunday.

Winners of the two groups qualify for a two-leg final in November with the club emerging victorious receiving $330,000 and a chance to tackle the African Champions League victors for the African Super Cup. -AFP

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